The Guardian revealed that the outcome of many, medal-deciding, bouts at the Olympic Games in Rio are predetermined. A senior figure within the sports alleged that there was “no doubt” the draw – as well as the judging system – are being manipulated. A group of referees are assembled together in advance and decides how to score certain bouts.
The Olympic boxing tournament has been in controversy almost every four years. This week, former International Boxing Association (AIBA) vice-president declared to the Guardian he was forced out of his position due to his accusations of manipulation of the judges’ draw in Beijing 2008. Before the Olympic Games in London 2012, the BBC claimed that Azerbaijan has bought medals when they loaned $10m to AIBA to underwrite a professional boxing series – money which has not, yet, been repaid.
However, AIBA investigation by senior officials rejected the allegations and a AIBA spokesman this week told the Guardian that “AIBA has undertaken major governance changes”. But one of the Guardian’s sources said: “Some bouts are so bloody blatant it’s obvious. It sickens my stomach.” Supposedly the alleged corruption only has become more sophisticated and widespread since London 2012.
Contrarily to the Guardian’s sources who claimed that in some championships half of the bouts could be fraud, AIBA insists there is no wrongdoing from their side or the side of Swiss Timing who externally operates the draw.
Boxing judge Seamus Kelly confirmed to the Guardian that he had been asked to cheat at the Arab Games 2011 in Doha and that he has informed the AIBA president CK Wu afterwards. But Kelly fears to have been sidelined, as he has never heard back after Wu assured him they would investigate the case. In 2014 AIBA dismissed Kelly from the Youth World Championships for displaying aggressive behaviour towards one of his colleagues and claims he launched “false accusations” against their organisation.
AIBA vehemently rejects the accusations confronted with and calls the allegations “subjective judgments made by discontented parties which do not reflect the AIBA community as a whole”.
This month on the website Fight News, Ognian Georgiev – in a series of articles – made detailed allegations about the Olympic qualifiers in the Venezuelan state of Vargas. The country paid AIBA to host the Olympic qualifying tournament from which four of their six competing fighters qualified for Rio. Also a correspondingly high proportion of boxers qualified for the Olympics and the AIBA championships host-country is underlined by critics.
AIBA president Wu does not want “to comment on rumours” and Terry Smith, member of the AIBA executive committee and honorary life chairman of the referees and judges committee claims he had not heard any allegations of malpractice.
#WHOATV will be watching diligently for any suspicious decisions on the road to victory