Under pressure by Olympic officials to address possible financial problems in his organization, the president of boxing’s international governing body in 2015 ordered an investigation by the accounting firm Price Waterhouse Coopers.
The resulting report revealed irregularities so widespread that the auditors suggested the federation find a criminal lawyer.
It was unclear if the federation did so. In fact, the existence of the report is not widely known because the president of the federation never released it, not even to the executive board that oversees him and the sport.
While portions of the report have been described by some news outlets, a full copy, recently obtained by The New York Times, reveals bookkeeping shortfalls and raises questions about the management of one of the most prominent Olympic sports.
The investigators focused on a $10 million loan in 2010 from a private company in Azerbaijan to help pay for a new boxing league in North America. The loan was never paid back, and investigators could not account for how more than $4.5 million of the money was spent. The federation, which goes by the acronym AIBA, could not say where the missing money went.
The federation, which is based in Switzerland, also did not properly account for the losses on its books, possibly breaking the law.
These and other concerns led the investigators at PricewaterhouseCoopers to write, “It is recommended that legal counsel be sought by AIBA as the actions, and nonactions, of some of the directors may contravene” several articles in the Swiss Criminal Code.
Amateur boxing has long been considered rife with corruption, with frequent accusations of match fixing, doping and outright bribery and fraud.
After the Rio Games in August, all 36 boxing referees and judges were suspended over questionable calls in matches there.
The 39-page investigative report, however — amplified by interviews with about a dozen current and former AIBA employees — is one of the fullest accountings of the sport’s financial troubles, which critics suspect stem from corruption.
The genesis of the audit dates to 2015, when Ching-kuo Wu, the president of AIBA, fired his deputy, Ho Kim, after an internal revolt by AIBA staff members who opposed him.
Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee, himself under increasing pressure to address corruption and clean up the image of international sports, then ordered Mr. Wu to look into the wayward $10 million loan. The I.O.C. holds considerable sway over AIBA, which runs boxing at the Olympics, and Mr. Wu is also on the I.O.C.’s executive board.
Mark Adams, a spokesman for the I.O.C., said Mr. Wu was asked to “carry out a full, transparent and independent audit.” The I.O.C., he said, “has made it clear with the Olympic Agenda 2020 reforms that we expect good governance and transparency from all sporting organizations.”
According to a copy of the original loan agreement, obtained by The Times from a member of AIBA’s executive committee who was disappointed with Mr. Wu’s lack of transparency, Mr. Wu personally signed for the loan, which was made to an AIBA subsidiary.
Yet AIBA is unable to explain why it borrowed money from a company with no obvious ties to boxing.
In a statement to The Times, AIBA said it was looking into the reports of problematic bookkeeping at the boxing venture in North America, but it suggested Mr. Kim was to blame because he oversaw that project.
AIBA said that the investigation, which PricewaterhouseCoopers finished more than a year ago, was a draft and that a final version would be completed in a few months.
The loan was made by Benkons MMC, a conglomerate based in Baku, Azerbaijan, that seemingly had no sports-related businesses in its fold.