Saturday 10 December 2016

AIBA outlines its 'zero tolerance policy towards fair play in boxing' in embarrassing gaffe

Published 18/08/2016 | 19:07

Michael Conlan with referee Kheira Sidi Yakoub
Michael Conlan with referee Kheira Sidi Yakoub

The AIBA have released a second statement in two days as the controversy surrounding judges decisions made at the Rio Olympics intensifies.

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AIBA Executive Director Karim Bouzidi  has been 'reassigned' and the running of the Olympic boxing tournament will now be taken over by Vice President of AIBA Executive Board Franco Falcinelli.

Their statement did include an embarrassing line where they claimed they were 'committed to a zero tolerance policy towards fair play in boxing'.

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In a corrected version of the statement released today, the AIBA said: "Further to the decision taken yesterday by AIBA with regard to the reassessment of the judges and referees officiating during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the AIBA vice presidents and executive board members have decided to reassign with immediate effect the current AIBA executive director to a new role within the organisation.

"Consequently, the operational responsibilities for the remainder of the Olympic boxing competition will now fall under the responsibilities of the most senior vice president of the AIBA executive board, Mr Franco Falcinelli, president of the European Boxing Confederation.

"The Olympic Games, of which boxing has been a part since 1904, represent the pinnacle of all sports. Since the beginning of Rio 2016, AIBA has conducted over 250 bouts and remains fully committed to fair play in boxing, always seeking to act in the boxers' utmost interests.

"The decisions taken emphasise that AIBA will not shy away from its responsibilities and will continue to ensure a level playing field and a fair and transparent sport. It is of paramount importance to protect our sport and its R&J community whose integrity has been put into question."

The AIBA expelled a "handful" of referees and judges involved in controversial decisions during the Rio Games yesterday.

Controversy has centred on Monday night's heavyweight final, in which Russia's Evgeny Tischenko won a verdict over Vasilliy Levit of Kazakhstan, and the defeat for Ireland's Michael Conlan to another Russian, Vladimir Nikitin, on Tuesday.

A number of the officials involved in the Levit and Conlan bouts continued to operate at the Games on Thursday, although there was still no sign of Ireland's Michael Gallagher, who is among those believed to have been sent home.

Conlan launched a furious, expletive-laden tirade live on Irish broadcaster RTE immediately after he dropped a points verdict to Russia's Vladimir Nikitin.

Such was the punishment sustained by Nikitin that he was unable to contest his bantamweight semi-final against Shakur Stevenson on Thursday afternoon, with the American granted a walkover.

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