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England boxing federation suspended for 'serious violations'

ESPN staff
July 22, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
The British Lionhearts were recently withdrawn from competition © Getty Images
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The governing body of amateur boxing has provisionally suspended the Amateur Boxing Association of England and asked its disciplinary panel to review the case.

The Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) says it "could not tolerate the serious violations committed" but did not specify details.

The suspension bars English boxers, coaches and officials from competitions six weeks before the junior world championships in Ukraine. The senior worlds will be held October 11-27 in Kazakhstan.

AIBA was already investigating "political conflicts" involving England and its other British member federations. This month, AIBA withdrew the British Lionhearts franchise from its World Series of Boxing professional competition.

The ABAE is confident the issue will be resolved before the senior world championships, allowing England's best amateur boxers to compete.

"This is a provisional suspension pending the decision of an AIBA Disciplinary Council," explained an ABAE spokesman. "We will be contacting AIBA immediately, in relation to the concerns it has raised, and we are confident that the ABAE will be able to provide the international governing body with the necessary reassurances to ensure this provisional suspension is lifted.

"We believe this situation can be addressed speedily and we are certain that it will not in any way impact on the participation of English boxers in this year's World Championships or any major international tournaments in 2014."

Sports minister Hugh Robertson expressed his concerns about ABAE governance in the aftermath of the announcement.

"This is very disappointing news," Robertson told insidethegames. "Boxing was one of the great successes of London 2012 but instead of using that platform to grow and promote the sport, boxing has descended into pointless, destructive in-fighting.

"It needs to get its governance reformed and concentrate on backing its elite athletes who, under Rob McCracken, have done the sport and this country proud."

This article originally appeared on ESPN.com

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