BOA seeks clarification after GB boxing coach is banned

Rob McCracken
McCracken (centre) led GB to five European Championships medals in 2010

The British Olympic Association says it will act after GB Boxing's head coach Rob McCracken had his licence revoked because of his links to the pro ranks.

Last month, the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) introduced a new law barring coaches involved in pro boxing from amateur events.

McCracken trains Nottingham's WBC super-middleweight champion Carl Froch.

"We will be seeking clarification about the new rule and its sudden inclusion," said a BOA spokesperson.

"We need to understand how and why this is being applied.

"We are very concerned as this new rule could have a considerable impact on the performance of our male and female boxers at the London 2012 Olympic Games."

McCracken became performance director in 2009 and the GB squad has enjoyed great success under his guidance.

His boxers won five medals at the European Championships in Moscow last summer in Britain's best showing since 1961.

"Once he took over, everything changed for the better," flyweight Khalid Yafai, who won silver in Moscow, told BBC Sport last year.

Rule 12.3.1 of the official AIBA Technical and Competition Rules - effective from 24 March 2011 - states: "Any coach active in professional boxing shall not be allowed to be a coach and/or second in both AIBA and/or WSB [World Series of Boxing] competitions... unless the coach resigns from any involvement in professional boxing for a period of at least six months..."

On Tuesday, AIBA chief executive Ho Kim claimed the rule was in place when McCracken was offered the role and that he got the job improperly by not stating his professional links.

But an AIBA spokesperson later back-tracked, saying: "I can confirm it is a new rule which was ratified last month. It is unfortunate for the affected parties but if they begin the process now they can still be in the corner for the Olympic Games."

As things stand, McCracken would still be able to coach Britain's amateur boxers but he would not be able to work their corner during fights.

If McCracken did decide to walk away from professional boxing, he would still face a six-month wait to have his AIBA certification renewed.

However, with Froch on the verge of reaching the final of the lucrative Super Six series - he fights Glen Johnson in the semi-finals in May - it is highly unlikely McCracken will sever ties any time soon.

This means McCracken will miss this year's World Championships, which double as the first Olympic qualifier, in Baku, Azerbaijan, in September.

British Amateur Boxing Association (Baba) communications director, Lee Murgatroyd, told BBC Sport: "We are very concerned by this development. It could have a serious impact on our boxers' prospects at the World Championships later this year and the Olympics in 2012."

The relationship between AIBA and the ABAE has cooled in recent months following King's aborted attempt to replace AIBA president Ching-Kuo Wu.

There was also disappointment that plans for a London franchise in the AIBA's WSB were scrapped in 2009. The WSB suffered a blow when one of its principle backers, sports marketing giant IMG, withdrew this week.

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