AIBA has signed up to the International Testing Agency ©AIBA

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has become the latest Olympic federation to sign up to the International Testing Agency (ITA), it was announced today.

AIBA, who reportedly conducted just one out-of-competition drugs test in 2014 and 2015, will hand over all of its anti-doping activities to the newly-established umbrella body.

This includes testing, result management for any anti-doping rule violations, intelligence-gathering, test-distribution planning, education and therapeutic use exemptions.

Anti-doping is one of several areas where AIBA must prove to the International Olympic Committee that improvements have been made if boxing is to be allowed to remain on the programme at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. 

Concerns have previously been raised about the strength of the anti-doping programme run by AIBA.

AIBA increased their anti-doping expenditure last year after reports in 2016 that only one out-of-competition anti-doping test had been conducted by the world body in the whole of 2014 and 2015.

Boxing ranked joint ninth among the sports with the highest number of anti-doping rule violations in 2016 with 35.

AIBA follow the International Table Tennis Federation in outsourcing its anti-doping to the Lausanne-based ITA, which has already began operations.

Amateur boxing is the latest sport to hand over its anti-doping activities to the ITA ©Getty Images
Amateur boxing is the latest sport to hand over its anti-doping activities to the ITA ©Getty Images

The troubled worldwide governing body claim signing up to the ITA "reaffirms AIBA's strong efforts to bring positive change and further improvements to its governance and anti-doping system".

"AIBA is committed to clean sport and I am pleased that we are among the first Olympic International Federations to join the ITA," AIBA interim President Gafur Rahimov, appointed to the position despite his alleged links to organised crime, said.

"This new partnership is very much aligned with AIBA's strategy going forward and represents a big milestone for our organisation and the future of boxing."

ITA director general Ben Cohen said AIBA partnering with the body would allow the organisation to focus their efforts on developing the sport.

"Ensuring clean competitions is central to the integrity and reputation of any sport," he said. 

"AIBA's proactive approach is completely consistent with the ITA's position as an independent and trusted partner in the protection of clean sport. 

"By entrusting the full range of its anti-doping programme to us at the ITA, we hope in turn that we can enable AIBA to focus fully on its core mission of developing boxing. 

"We look forward to providing AIBA with our expertise and are fully committed to support AIBA in its fight against anti-doping."