May 8, 2014 (ISN) – The possibility of undisputed world heavyweight boxing champion Wladimir Klitschko taking part in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro appears to be still on after the Ukrainian Boxing Federation (UBF) denied they have ruled the boxer out of making a return to the Games.
Reports had suggested that the UBF were not considering Klitschko as an option and denied him permission to take part in any Olympic qualifying competition held in the country.
But a spokesman for the UBF has denied this and told insidethegames that the “information is false” claiming that no decisions on the participation of any boxers has been made yet.
UBF media director Aleksandr Podavalenko claimed any decision on whether Klitschko could take part in qualification for Rio 2016 would have to be in line with AIBA rules and would mean that the boxer would have to “break his valid professional contracts” and take part in AIBA’s Pro Boxing (APB) competition.
APB rules say that current pro boxers cannot join if they have had over 20 professional bouts but AIBA have revealed that exceptions can be made for superstar fighters such as Klitschko, while he will turn 40 – the age limit for boxers at the Games – just before Rio 2016 gets underway.
AIBA has told insidethegames that they “have not received any official request from the boxer or his national federation so far.”
Klitschko, who currently holds the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles, has claimed he wants to make a return to the Olympic Games in Rio after he first came to international prominence by claiming super heavyweight gold at Atlanta 1996.
The 38-year-old has gone on to become one of the most dominant heavyweight fighters of all-time with a record of 62 wins from 65 fights.
Klitschko revealed that after speaking with his late coach Emanuel Steward during the London 2012 Games, he decided that he wanted to take part at Rio 2016.
“It was our joint dream with Emanuel and I hope I will be able to fulfil it,” Klitschko said.
“I already have an Olympic title and it would be terrific to repeat this experience 20 years later.”