Olympic Boxing Judges and Refs Sent Packing

The international federation, known as AIBA, that governs the Olympic boxing tournament has removed several referees and judges from Olympic competition after officials reviewed their decisions.

The decision has added fuel to the inflamed suspicion of suspect results in some matches at the Rio Games.

On Wednesday, a spokesman for the federation told the New York Times that the names of the officials who were dismissed, and the reviewed matches that were tainted, would not be released because he did not want to besmirch their families.

AIBA, said in a statement that the committee that reviews officiating had assessed all 239 bouts at the Rio Games through Tuesday and had determined that less than a handful of the decisions were not at the level expected. The concerned referees and judges will no longer officiate at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Irish bantamweight, Michael Conlan was the first to publicly accuse the federation of corruption suggesting that Russian boxing officials had bribed judges via an expletive-filled tirade on social media. His opponent for his quarterfinal loss was Russian athlete, Vladimir Nikitin, who won a unanimous decision on paper, but not in the eyes of the public.

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(Photo Credit: USA Today)

Similarly, Russian fighter Evgeny Tishchenko took a unanimous decision over Vassiliy Levit of Kazakhstan, who appeared to have won the bout.

Two of the three judges who scored Conlans bout Jones Kennedy Silva do Rosario of Brazil and Udeni Talik Bandara Kiridena of Sri Lanka returned to officiate on Wednesday. All three judges had scored the fight 29-28 in favor of Nikitin.

Gary Antuanne Russell, fighting for USA Boxing, lost a split decision in his quarterfinal contest with Uzbekistan’s Fazliddin Gaibnazarov. Russell showcased exceptional hand speed and ring generalship in the bout, yet still took a controversial loss.

With regard to corruption, we would like to strongly re-state 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 the referees and judges whose integrity is constantly put into question, the federations statement said.

The boxing federation did not say how many decisions it deemed insufficient, and it did not specify what was wrong with those decisions. None of the decisions will be overturned, AIBA also said.

After each fight, a computer program randomly determines which three of the five judges scorecards will be counted. The other two scorecards are thrown out.

Still, questions about judging will continue.

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