US amateur boxing in clash over coach’s remarks about ‘gay’ female fighters

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The organisation responsible for amateur boxing in the US has been criticised for its failure to remove Hal Adonis from its board, after he said half of all female fighters were either lesbians or child abuse victims.

Mr Adonis gave an interview to the New Yorker magazine earlier this year in which he declared that being abused as an infant provided good preparation to be a female boxer, he said: “Half of our girls have been molested, half of our girls are gay”.

Mr Adonis, who had run the country’s amateur boxing organisation since 2009 as president, added:

“When kids call me up, I say: ‘Let me ask you an honest question: have your parents ever hit you?’ If they say no, I say: ‘I don’t think you belong in boxing.'”

The 75-year-old was then sacked from his position, although USA Boxing had refused to remove him completely from its board of directors.

In response, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) suspended USA Boxing for three months, meaning all amateur boxing events across the US were to be cancelled.

However, on Thursday that decision was reversed.

According to AP, the AIBA did not lift its two-year suspension of Mr Adonis, who survived a vote by USA Boxing’s board of directors and briefly kept his seat on the board after getting ousted from the presidency in June.

He still retains a presence with the organisation.

Mr Adonis, a former fighter, had previously talked to reporters about how his father hit him as a child – he believed it encouraged him into the sport.

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