Inside Lines: Probe ordered into 'financial irregularities' at ABA

An investigation is taking place into the affairs of the Amateur Boxing Association of England following allegations of financial mismanagement and irregularities which have been reported to Sport England.

The Government-backed body confirm that documents received from a "whistleblower" within the boxing body have been passed to an independent panel which is probing the claims. They say: "We have been made aware of allegations, and the findings will be reported to the board of the ABAE and shared with Sport England."

An ABAE spokesman said: "The board has set up an independent panel to investigate allegations that have been made against a number of people within the organisation. The decision reflects the board's commitment to fairness and good governance and ensuring the allegations are investigated independently."

As well as the alleged irregularities, there is concern among members that the action of the long-serving chief executive Paul King in leading an unsuccessful coup against the powerful head of international body the AIBA, Taiwan billionaire DrC K Wu, could damage British amateur boxing prospects with the Olympics approaching. Dr Wu is on record as threatening to "punish" the ABAE.

Woodward staying put

Sir Clive Woodward will not be returning to Twickenham as elite performance director. He has told the British Olympic Association chairman Lord Moynihan that he is staying in his post as their performance director and deputy chef de mission until after the London Games. His decision will disappoint RFU chief executive John Steele, who believed Woodward ticked all the boxes for a role in his revamp.

Woodward's decision to step down from UK Sport's Mission 2012 panel fuelled speculation that he might return to rugby but Moynihan tells me: "Clive has the Olympic bug and wants to focus fully on helping achieve British success."

One track mind

West Ham getting the Olympic Stadium was always a no-brainer, but will they eventually backtrack on their pledge to retain the athletics facility?

Some Olympians are already having doubts, among them Daley Thompson who we interview on pages 12-13. He warns: "Reneging on promises seems to be fashionable, so regulations have to be put in place to prevent this."

May's marathon effort

Amid the seven-star sumptuousness of last week's Laureus World Sports Awards in Abu Dhabi, where the omnipresent Colin Montgomerie picked up the Spirit of Sport award for the Ryder Cup, one achievement stood alone. That of remarkable Lebanese woman May El-Khalil, creator of the Beirut Marathon.

After 20 operations following a near-fatal accident when running 10 years ago, she launched an event which is using sport to bring reconciliation to one of the most divided cities on earth. Receiving the Sport for Good Award she said: "We have been running for peace and we will continue running for peace in the Middle East."

Indeed. Let's hope this one runs and runs.

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