Sunday 23 April 2017

AIBA reveals that 'unwelcome axis of influence' and 'atmosphere of collusion' existed at Rio Olympics

Michael Conlan shows his opinion of the judges' decision following his controversial Olympic bantamweight quarter-final defeat to Vladimir Nikitin of Russia Photo: Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile
Michael Conlan shows his opinion of the judges' decision following his controversial Olympic bantamweight quarter-final defeat to Vladimir Nikitin of Russia Photo: Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile
Cormac Byrne

Cormac Byrne

The AIBA have released a statement today confirming that 'unprofessional relationships' with the sport's governing body had contributed to an atmosphere of collusion between senior management and some referees and judges at the Rio Olympics.

Despite this, a special investigation carried out by a committee of experts had found no evidence of active interference in the results after carrying out 50 interviews over a four month period.

The probe determined that there were no grounds for the reallocation of medal rankings for Rio 2016, but the AIBA will be researching the feasibility of processes for the appeal of decisions in the future.

"An unwelcome axis of influence and sole decision-making had been created and used by former Senior Management that led to a lack of due process being carried out," said AIBA president Ching-kuo Wu. 

"Whilst there is no evidence that this had a direct influence on results in Rio, if best practice is not followed 100% of the time by our officials and R&Js (referees and judges), that is unacceptable."

The AIBA sidelined all 36 referees and judges used at the Rio Olympics until this investigation was finished. They will be integrated back into the system now on a 'case-by-case basis'.

Ireland's world bantamweight champion Michael Conlan, who has since turned profressional, was one of the most vociferous critics of the judging in Rio, calling AIBA "cheats" after he was controversially beaten on points by Russia's Vladimir Nikitin in a quarter-final bout.

Conlan was fined €9,300 by the AIBA for his explosive reaction immediately after his controversial defeat but has stated that he has no intention of paying it.

The AIBA confirmed that the process they had for assigning referees and judges has been altered and that 'an automated Swiss Timing system will assign officials to matches, with all five Judges’ scorecards now used to determine the winner of a bout'.

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