The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has put planning for the Tokyo 2020 boxing tournament on hold in a move that could see the governing body AIBA frozen out of the Games over a governance dispute.
The IOC said in a statement it had also launched an investigation into the International Boxing Association after AIBA submitted a progress report focusing on governance, financial management and sporting integrity.
It referred to that enquiry as "the initiation of a procedure which can lead to the withdrawal of recognition for AIBA" but said it still hoped boxing would be part of the programme.
"The IOC Executive Board makes all efforts to protect the athletes and ensure that a boxing tournament can take place at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 regardless of these measures," it said.
The IOC's Executive Board said planning for the Olympic boxing tournament had been frozen, with immediate effect, and contact suspended between AIBA and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee.
Planning for ticket sales, the approval and implementation of a qualification system, test event planning and finalisation of a competition schedule were also put on hold.
AIBA was also barred from using any Olympic properties, including the Olympic rings and Tokyo 2020 logo for any communications or promotional materials.
No deadline was set for further action but any decision to withdraw recognition from an international federation would have to be made at an IOC session. The next one is scheduled for June 2019.
Sport Ireland said it was "deeply concerned, but not surprised" by the news.
AIBA has been in turmoil for years and the IOC has warned the Swiss-based body to sort out its finances and governance, as well as anti-doping issues, or risk missing out on the Tokyo Games.
The IOC executive board said progress had been made but points of "significant concern" remained.
They included doubts about AIBA's ability to continue as a going concern.
"The IOC understands AIBA is unable to maintain or open a bank account in Switzerland, where its headquarters are based," said the statement.
The election of controversial Uzbek businessman Gafur Rakhimov as the new head of the AIBA appears to have prompted the latest move from the IOC.
It also noted uncertainty about the role of Rakhimov resulting from his "designation as a key member and associate of a transnational organised criminal network by the US Treasury Department".
Rakhimov was one of two Olympic officials barred by the Australian government from attending the 2000 Sydney Games for security reasons and The IOC had warned that they would cut funding to the AIBA if Rakhimov was elected.
Rakhimov has denied allegations of and claimed they were "lies were fabricated by the former regime in Uzbekistan because they wanted my businesses to support them financially."
The AIBA has been in turmoil for several years and its former president Wu Ching-kuo was suspended in 2017 before stepping down over governance and finance issues.
Boxing has featured in all but one of the Summer Olympics since 1904 with Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Sugar Ray Leonard, Anthony Joshua and Katie Taylor among those to have won gold medals and gone on to claim professional world titles.
The IOC also noted significant issues with the finances of the AIBA, pointing to a report from auditors EY which raised several questions.
The statement read: "Areas of concern include but are not limited to the following: In a comprehensive report in 2018, auditors EY stated: 'Uncertainty still persists about the ability of the organisations to continue as a going concern.'
"The 2018 EY audit report also stated: 'We have not been able to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence to provide a basis of an audit opinion.'
"Audit reports for the financial statements of 2017 and 2018 are omitted from AIBA’s website.
"The IOC understands AIBA is unable to maintain or open a bank account in Switzerland, where its headquarters are based."
The IOC announced immediate sanctions against the AIBA, which include freezing plans for a boxing event at the 2020 Olympics, blocking contact between AIBA and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and banning the AIBA from using any Olympic logos and materials.
The statement explained the IOC will adopt with immediate effect the following additional measures: "Freeze the planning for the Olympic boxing tournament at Tokyo 2020, including official contact between AIBA and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, ticket sales, approval and implementation of a qualification system, test event planning and finalisation of the competition schedule;
"Prohibit the use by AIBA of the Olympic properties, including the Olympic rings and Tokyo 2020 logo for any communications/advertising and/or promotional materials;
"Lift the freezing of Olympic Solidarity funding for athletes, on the condition that no funding can be applied for or paid through a national boxing federation."