New leader of Olympic boxing body linked to organized crime

January 27, 2018 - 11:07 am

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An official described as "one of Uzbekistan's leading criminals" by United States authorities has been named interim president of Olympic boxing's governing body.

The International Boxing Federation (AIBA) says vice president Gafur Rakhimov was promoted on Saturday after the "unexpected resignation" of interim leader Franco Falcinelli.

AIBA executive committee member Pat Fiacco says it was "obligated to follow the statutes" requiring the longest-serving vice president to fill any vacancy.

Last month, the U.S. Department of the Treasury linked Rakhimov to "Thieves-in-Law," which it called a "vast criminal organization" allegedly involved in money laundering, extortion, bribery, and robbery.

The federal office "designated" Rakhimov and others, which froze their assets under U.S. jurisdiction.

Fiacco says Rakhimov has "contributed positively" to AIBA, and "there is nothing negative that the executive committee can say."

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