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AIBA and WSB response to Newsnight allegations


A statement issued by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) and World Series Boxing (WSB) in response to allegations made by BBC Newsnight that it has uncovered evidence of secret payments from an Azerbaijani to boxing organisers, which whistleblowers allege is part of a deal to secure two gold medals at London 2012.

"In 2010, an agreement was signed between WSB SA, a Swiss incorporated company which runs the World Series of Boxing competition under the auspices of the AIBA, and a Swiss investment company for a loan in respect of the operation of WSB's American franchises.

"The Swiss investment company facilitated the making of the loan, which originated from an Azerbaijani investor. The loan was not "secret" and nor was there anything improper about it. It was an arms length transaction between two entities made on a commercial basis and with a view to a commercial return for the investor. While that investor prefers not to be named, as is their right under the terms of the agreement, AIBA/WSB can confirm that they are a private investor and are not the Azerbaijani Government (whether the Ministry of Emergency or any other arm of the government) and that none of the funds were derived from Azerbaijani Government,

"Any suggestion that the loan was made in return for promises of gold medals at the 2012 Olympics is preposterous and utterly untrue. AIBA/WSB believe that such allegations have been made by individuals with an axe to grind, who are totally discredited. As well as unjustifiably imputing corruption to AIBA/WSB , they demonstrate a complete misunderstanding of the procedures which lead to the award of Olympic boxing medals and the impossibility of influencing these."

Watch Newsnight's full report on Thursday, 22 September 2011 at 22:30 BST on BBC Two, then afterwards on the BBC iPlayer and Newsnight website.

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