Allegations of a “toxic culture” within Boxing Canada have drawn the attention of the organization that oversees the sport around the world.
The International Boxing Association (IBA) has initiated a review of Boxing Canada and its High Performance Director, Daniel Trépanier, after dozens of athletes signed an open letter to Sport Canada calling for a independent investigation and the resignation of Trépanier.
The IBA also withdrew Trépanier’s accreditation on Friday for the Women’s World Boxing Championships, which begin Sunday in Istanbul, although Boxing Canada said he had not traveled to Turkey to this competition.
“The open letter […] is of great concern to the International Boxing Association (IBA). There can be no place in our sport for the abuse of athletes and we ask for your cooperation to make it happen,” IBA Secretary General Istvan Kovacs said in a letter to Boxing Canada President Friday. , Ryan Savage.
“Safeguarding boxers and the boxing community at large is, and will remain, a priority for the current IBA leadership team. »
Kovacs said the IBA’s Integrity Officer and Ethics Committee would review the allegations raised in the letter to Sport Canada, originally signed by 121 current and retired boxers and whose number of signatories , since, has risen to 233.
Trépanier did not immediately respond to requests for comment from La Presse Canadienne.
The letter Kovacs authored, a copy of which was obtained by The Canadian Press, was also sent to Vicki Walker, CEO of Sport Canada, Pascale St-Onge, Minister of Sport for Canada, Ann Merklinger, President and CEO of ” Own the Podium,” Trisha Smith, President of the Canadian Olympic Committee, Erin Wilson, President of AthletesCan, and Bernhard Welten, Chair of the International Boxing Federation Ethics Commission.
In a statement Friday, Minister St-Onge said there is a real sense of urgency for change in sport in Canada, “and I am determined to use every ounce of leadership and tools at my disposal to begin to change the sports culture. As I said before, we need to make sure that athletes are at the center of the conversation and the solutions offered. »
Four boxers are scheduled to represent Canada at the Women’s Worlds, which will take place for the first time since 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic: Priyanka Dhillon (48 kg), Scarlett Delgado (54 kg), Charlie Cavanagh (66 kg) and Tammara Thibeault (75 kg).
The IBA had planned to contact them if Trépanier had attended the event.
“I would be grateful if you could outline the measures you have already put in place and/or intend to put in place to protect your team members who are currently participating in Istanbul from abuse,” wrote Kovacs at Boxing Canada. “Be aware that the IBA may contact your team here directly, to inform them of the safeguard measures they have put in place. »
Three-time world champion Mary Spencer told La Presse Canadienne that Trépanier “should have been fired a long time ago.”
Christophe Bernier, two-time Canadian super heavyweight champion, spoke of “generalized favouritism”