Wednesday 7 December 2016

AIBA stands down all Rio officials in judging probe

Bernard O'Neill

Published 07/10/2016 | 02:30

Michael Conlan let ringside judges know exactly what he thought after his controversial defeat by Russian boxer Vladimir Nikitin at the Rio Olympics. Picture: Sportsfile
Michael Conlan let ringside judges know exactly what he thought after his controversial defeat by Russian boxer Vladimir Nikitin at the Rio Olympics. Picture: Sportsfile

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has stood down all 36 referees and judges that officiated at Rio 2016 pending the completion of an investigation into judging at the Games.

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The Olympics were marred by poor officiating, notably Michael Conlan's controversial defeat to Russia's Vladimir Nikitin in the bantamweight quarter-final.

Belfast native Conlan, who has since turned pro, said after the Nikitin decision that he would never fight under an AIBA flag again and called the governing body for amateur boxing "cheats".

A number of referees and judges were stood down in Rio after the Conlan versus Nikitin result.

It's unclear whether Tyrone's Michael Gallagher was one of the officials sanctioned in Rio as AIBA never named those stood down then. However, he has certainly now been side-lined.

AIBA also announced that it has disbanded its 5-Star refereee and judge programme. The 5-Stars - including Gallagher - known as 'The Magnificent Seven', were paid $40-50,000 plus expenses a year by AIBA and are professional boxing officials.

AIBA are also considering using five judges to score fights in future. Five judges currently score bouts but only three scores are used to determine results.

Irish Independent

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