Professional boxers who compete at this year’s Olympics will be stripped of their International Boxing Federation titles, the IBF said in a statement on Monday.

Professional boxers were given the green light to compete at the August 5-21 Rio Games earlier this month but the IBF is unhappy with the decision and said there was an inherent safety risk with professionals competing against amateurs.

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After reviewing medical opinions, the IBF has decided that if professional boxers compete in Rio it would be considered unsportsmanlike behaviour and they would be sanctioned.

“Making this decision was not difficult for us,” IBF president Daryl Peoples said in the statement.

“We felt it was important for the IBF to get involved and take a stance against professional boxers competing against amateurs due to safety concerns, as part of our commitment to this sport is to promote the health and well-being of the boxers.”

The IBF said non-title holders who compete at Rio would be removed from its ratings for one year.

Feature image source: AFP