AIBA executive committee loses case against Ninvalle
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President of the Guyana Boxing Association,  Steve Ninvalle
President of the Guyana Boxing Association, Steve Ninvalle

..“A man forced against his will is of the same opinion still”

STEVE NINVALLE, president of the Guyana Boxing Association (GBA), who also sits as an executive committee member on the International Boxing Association (AIBA), has had his provisional suspension by the amateur boxing world-governing body lifted.

With Senior Counsel K. Juman Yassin and Teni Housty as his attorneys, Ninvalle’s provisional suspension which was instituted in July and lifted on October 9, stemmed from his alleged violation of Articles 6.4 and 6.11 in AIBA’s code of ethics.

Ninvalle was also accused of attempting to organise and establish a de facto Caribbean Federation, among others, and the executive committee had sought to have him suspended. 

According to documents seen by Chronicle Sport, Ninvalle, who is expected to contest the American Boxing Confederation (AMBC) Presidency on November 3 in Moscow, Russia, had strongly disagreed with the selection by the AMBC President of three representatives from Caribbean National Federations to develop a presentation for the AIBA executive committee meeting in July 2018 in Abu Dhabi.

The presentation was intended to examine the Region’s development needs. The document alleged that Mr. Ninvalle was upset that he was not consulted by the AMBC President prior to making the appointments and therefore applied pressure to other Caribbean nations not to support the presentation.

However, Ninvalle denied all allegations levelled against him, and argued that the emails submitted as exhibits to the complaint failed to set forth facts that support the allegations.

Meanwhile, the Barry Jones Disciplinary Panel Chair wrote on October 9, 2018, that the panel “do not believe that Mr. Ninvalle’s intentions were with malice toward AIBA.

 Rather, they were generated by an overzealous position to advance his perceived interests of the Caribbean as a whole. Pursuant to 6.11 of the Code, the DC has discretion on the type of sanction to impose. We do not find that Mr. Ninvalle’s actions and statements warrant continued suspension.”

Jones further added that “therefore, the Disciplinary Committee issues this decision of reprimand as a strong caution to Mr. Ninvalle to avoid further efforts to form a Caribbean quasi-federation or intimidate and pressure national federations to adhere to the positions of a majority of Caribbean nations. Accordingly, Mr. Ninvalle’s provisional suspension is hereby lifted and he is reinstated as an EC member with all attendant rights, duties and responsibilities.”

“With regard to the other code violations asserted in the Brief, the panel has carefully considered those charges and finds that there is a lack of evidence and proof to support such findings. The complainant(s) have simply failed to meet the burden of proof on the additional violations and they are dismissed. No other violations are found to have been proved with relevant credible facts. The provisional suspension is lifted and dismissed,” Jones said.

Speaking with Chronicle Sport, the vindicated local boxing administrator disclosed that his intention was, and still is, to have a united Caribbean to enhance the development of boxing in the region.

“If unity is a crime, then I am guilty every hour of the day. This was a situation where three persons from three Caribbean territories were hand-picked to go and present a proposal on behalf of the Caribbean. The other territories had no knowledge of this activity.

“So, how are you going to represent me without my approval or knowledge? Am I not supposed to ask fitting questions when faced with such a situation, or am I supposed to roll over and play dead?” Ninvalle asked.

“We never spoke of forming any association. The Caribbean is too busy trying to get support to implement programmes and stage competitions. However, our intention was to collectively look out for what is good for the region.”

According to Ninvalle, this was not a one-man show as is being made to appear. “Every president in the English-Speaking Caribbean worth his salt, and Suriname participated in the free and frank discussions, and we all agreed with the exception of the hand-picked trio, that the selection process was flawed. We, to this day, still believe it is flawed. No amount of suspension would change that. A man forced against his will is of the same opinion still,” Ninvalle declared.

Turning to the suspension, the GBA president said that there was no doubt in his mind that the charges brought against him would have been tossed out.   “I was 100 per cent confident from the inception. These charges were flimsy and lacked merit. Stevie Wonder could have seen that,” the EC member added.

During the entire ordeal, Ninvalle, a passionate advocate for boxing development in the Caribbean, received support from Antigua, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, St Lucia, St Maarten, Suriname, the US Virgin Islands and Trinidad and Tobago.

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