Olympic judges sent home following Michael Conlan match-fixing accusations
Several boxing judges and referees have been sent home from the Rio Olympics in the wake of claims that they have been fixing matches.
AIBA, the organization that governs amateur boxing, released a statement on Wednesday announcing the decision.
“The concerned referees and judges will no longer officiate at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games,” the statement read, according to Sky Sports. “AIBA will not shy away from its responsibilities and is fully committed … [to] always acting in the boxers’ utmost interest.”
AIBA made it clear that the decision to send officials home from Rio was not an admission of guilt.
“With regard to corruption, we would like to strongly restate that unless tangible proof is put forward, not rumors, we will continue to use any means, including legal or disciplinary actions to protect our sport and its (referees and judges) community whose integrity is constantly put into question,” the statement continued. “The organization will not be deterred by subjective judgements made by discontented parties. We welcome all parties to come forward and provide evidence in order to take appropriate and immediate action.”
After Russian heavyweight Evgeny Tishchenko defeated Kazakhstan’s Vassiliy Levit in a gold medal bout Monday night, fans mercilessly booed the unanimous decision. Many felt Levit clearly dominated the fight.
It was more of the same on Tuesday, with Russia once again the beneficiary of a decision from the judges. Vladimir Nikitin defeated Irishman Michael Conlan, who immediately went berserk and flipped the double-bird at the judges. He then accused AIBA of being “cheats” in a profanity-laced rant on live television, which you can see here.
Conlan weighed in on Wednesday’s decision with the following tweet:
Wow this says a lot about AIBA, Sending judges home who ruin dreams, what happens 2 the ppl who's dream were ruined? https://t.co/n5VnWRzLJa
— Michael Conlan (@mickconlan11) August 17, 2016
Not standing by the judges that were there to begin the Olympics will surely lead to even louder scrutiny.