TAIPEI (CNA) – Wu Ching-kuo (吳經國), the longtime president of the International Boxing Association (AIBA), officially stepped down from his post on Monday, following allegations of financial mismanagement and a vote of no-confidence which led to his suspension in October.
The Taiwanese official, who has served as AIBA president since 2006, released a joint statement with AIBA saying that he has decided to step down “for the sport I love and have dedicated my life to.”
During an interview with CNA, Wu clarified what he meant by stepping down for the sake of boxing, saying that “it was time to stop (with the trials) for the sake of boxing’s future.”
Wu was at the center of one of the biggest scandals in AIBA’s history, in which he was accused of abuse of power and financial mismanagement, which allegedly landed the organization with US million worth of debt.
He said the last three months of going to court were “really exhausting” and the lack of support from AIBA left him feeling powerless.
Wu admitted that he was trying to demonstrate strength of will by going ahead with the investigations and trials, but after AIBA reached a verdict on his innocence, he decided it was time to step down.
According to the statement, “they (AIBA and Wu) have amicably agreed to resolve the management issues within AIBA and to withdraw and terminate all related pending procedures before civil courts and the AIBA Disciplinary Commission.”
In October, the disciplinary commission ordered the immediate suspension of Wu as AIBA president, a sanction that AIBA’s executive committee unanimously voted to keep in place in early November.
When Wu was first suspended, many international media outlets speculated that it was unlikely he would return to his post.
Now that Wu has stepped down, Franco Falcinelli, who has been filling in as interim president, will remain in the position, until the next election.
In the statement, Falcinelli thanked Wu for “his contribution to the sport of boxing and to AIBA over many years.”
The interim president will be asking the executive committee to vote in favor of a recommendation to confer the title of honorary president on Wu, according to the statement published on AIBA’s website.
Even without an active role in AIBA, Wu, who is an executive board member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), will continue to work on Olympic endeavors.
As he noted in his interview, he will also be leaving time for public speeches and appearances in Taiwan while preparing a memoir on his illustrious career in sports.
By Kuan-lin Liu and Lee Chin-wei