Dr Butler addresses USOC and AIBA Matters
Dear Friends and Fellow Members of USA Boxing,
On September 21, 2012 the Disciplinary Committee of AIBA sent a notice to Mr. Hal Adonis asking him to account for the public statements which he made that appear to violate the principles of Olympism, the articles of AIBA, the rules and code of conduct of USA Boxing. The legal brief alleges that these comments were defamatory to the reputation of AIBA, the sport of Boxing, Women's Boxing in particular, certain Minority Groups within the organization, and inappropriately associated child-abuse with the sport of boxing. Unfortunately, USA Boxing was simultaneously charged to respond to these same charged violations. Mr. Adonis was granted an extension until October 12 to AIBA. USA Boxing submitted its response on September 28 to the International Federation, as originally requested.
After Mr. Adonis made the alleged statements, the Board of USA Boxing voted to remove Mr. Adonis as President and Chairman of the Board. Colorado law requires that removal from the Board of USA Boxing requires a majority vote of the voting electors who placed Mr. Adonis on the board. Accordingly, the Board of Directors requested a vote of the 72 electors to remove Mr. Adonis from the board. Fifty-one (51) of the 72 voting members responded. The majority of the 51 voting members cast their ballots to retain Mr. Adonis as a board member. For this reason, USA Boxing is charged as equally guilty in these violations of the Olympic principles, AIBA Articles, the Rules of USA Boxing and code of ethics of USA Boxing.
These charges create an extremely dangerous situation which could lead to the suspension and/or the complete dissolution of USA Boxing for supporting discriminatory remarks which many have taken as harmful to the reputation of boxing, and many minority and women’s groups within our organization.
On September 27, 2012 USA Boxing received a letter from the USOC threatening decertification of USA Boxing if immediate agreement to a change of governance were not met. This letter included a timeline within which USA Boxing must meet the required change of governance or face dissolution. The letter from the USOC was several pages long and contained a laundry list of the past failings and mistakes of USA Boxing. In addition to the abbreviated list of our failings, this letter contained the names of two members of our organization, Mr. Hal Adonis and Mr. Gary Pliner who were each specifically cited as partial cause for this decertification notice.
The demands of the USOC to avoid immediate decertification included immediate acceptance of a mutually agreed-upon Advisory Committee which would oversee the actions of USA Boxing, acceptance of a "Transitional Board" as of December 31, 2012, and the "new governance" which would be acceptable to the USOC and AIBA, and which would be put forward for mutual agreement by June 1, 2013. The service of the Transitional Board will terminate and the new governance takeover January 1, 2014.
Last night, your board after a very difficult meeting voted to accept the terms of the USOC to avoid immediate dissolution of USA Boxing. There will be no elections because our entire Board will cease to exist as of January 1, 2013 when the transitional board agreed-upon by the USOC, AIBA, and USA Boxing will take control of the organization. This is a difficult path to take but please understand that the dissolution of USA Boxing would mean the closure of all of our gymnasiums, the end all local boxing shows and the loss of recognition of Boxing as an Olympic sport in the United States.
This Board of Directors made a difficult decision but I believe the correct one to preserve Boxing, our local clubs, and our ability to compete at all levels. We all share the blame for this situation because of our previous management failures. I and your current Board of Directors are committed to preserving our sport and working to influence the institution of a new governance which will most benefit our members. We recognize that our role in this may be limited because of our current legal position and the authority of the USOC and AIBA, which we will try to influence but cannot dictate.
The Board of Directors made a heroic decision last night. It was not easy for them. It will not be easy for you. They did the right thing. I ask you to give the Board you elected your full support.