Olympic Federation of Ireland president Sarah Keane believes that boxing will be part of the Tokyo 2020 Games.

The IOC announced last month that planning for boxing at the event had been "frozen" after amateur boxing world body AIBA defied warnings to reform and elected controversial candidate Gafur Rahkimov as president.

That led to concerns that the sport might not be part of the programme in two years’ time but the Irish Olympic chief has allayed those fears.

"I do believe that there will be a boxing tournament at the games. All the signs are that there will be," Keane told RTÉ Sport at the launch of the OFI’s new partnership programme with Sport Ireland.

"I think what they are looking at is how they are going to make that happen.

"I’m sure they have frozen their planning in terms of meetings and discussions. I don’t think they have frozen their planning in terms of looking into the detail of what will actually happen."

"The important thing now is to get our boxers working on qualification and not have them distracted at governance level"

What now seems to be the question is whether AIBA will maintain their role as overseers of boxing at, and qualification for, the Games or whether the IOC might reassign that duty.

"If it is not going to be AIBA, and no one can say at this stage whether that’s going to be the case or not, I think they are looking at how else they can run the event," said Keane.

"From our informal discussions with the International Olympic Committee, they said they had eight different scenarios they were examining. This isn’t an easy situation.

"They have set up a committee to investigate in terms of what’s happening with AIBA and the changes they have asked them to make.

"The important thing now is to get our boxers working on qualification and not have them distracted at governance level."

Boxing is far and away Ireland’s most successful Olympic sport, accounting for 16 of the total 31 medals won, including gold for the likes of Katie Taylor and Michael Carruth.

Keane accepts that the prospect of the sport missing out is alarming but she insists that the IOC are doing the right thing in pressuring AIBA to get its house in order.

"Boxing is a big event at the Games, not just for us but for other nations.

"From our perspective, we can’t say they are doing the wrong thing, in terms of governance issues and concerns of the level they are talking about.

"There is proof that if the system isn’t working and an organisation isn’t working properly that there will be problems.

"I think we’ve all seen problems within the boxing environment for a long time, so we welcome that, even though it’s causing concern."