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English officials question Rakhimov role as boxing president

December 7, 2018

FILE - In this file photo dated Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018, Interim President of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) Gafur Rakhimov attends a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow, Russia. In a letter on Friday Dec. 7, 2018, to AIBA president Gafur Rakhimov, England's boxing federation has urged the troubled International Boxing Association's president Rakhimov, to question his position to help avoid expulsion from the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, FILE)

LONDON (AP) — England’s boxing federation has urged the troubled International Boxing Association’s president to question his position to help avoid expulsion from the Tokyo Olympics.

In a letter to AIBA president Gafur Rakhimov, England Boxing tells the alleged heroin trafficker “it is time for you personally to think about the actions you can take to help resolve” amateur boxing’s issues.

The International Olympic Committee last week opened an inquiry into AIBA’s governance, finances and ethics, and banned contact with Tokyo Games organizers.

IOC concerns include Lausanne-based AIBA’s challenges to operate bank accounts in Switzerland while Rakhimov remains on a U.S. Treasury Department sanctions list. He denies wrongdoing.

England Boxing says AIBA has “deep-rooted issues that exist” despite changes under Rakhimov’s interim leadership before he was formally elected last month.

The U.S. Treasury Department says Rakhimov is a heroin trafficker linked to organized crime.

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