AIBA removes boxing judges
from remainder of Olympics

RIO DE JANEIRO — The International Boxing Association (AIBA), the federation that runs amateur boxing, released a statement Wednesday in which it said some judges have been removed from the remainder of the Olympics because their scoring wasn’t up to standards.

AIBA didn’t identify the judges removed, or the fights they worked, but it said that all results will stand as called.

“Following recent judging decisions and after carrying out a thorough examination by the relevant Commission, AIBA has decided to take immediate and appropriate actions,” the statement read. “Since the beginning of the Olympic Games, AIBA has conducted 239 bouts.

“The AIBA R&J [referees and judges] Commission has reviewed all decisions and determined that less than a handful of the decisions were not at the level expected and consequently it has been decided in accordance with the AIBA R&J evaluation committee that the concerned referees and judges will no longer officiate at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. In accordance with AIBA Rules, the result of all the bouts will stand.”

Though the bouts weren’t identified, the scoring of three fights in particular has created a major uproar.

On Monday, Evgeny Tishchenko of Russia won the heavyweight gold medal by a unanimous decision, with judges scoring the fight with Kazakhstan’s Vassiliy Levit 29-28 on all cards. That was probably the worst score of the tournament. Judges in that bout were Michael Gallagher, Armando Carbonell Alvarado and Kheira Sidi Yakoub.

There were two controversial bouts on Tuesday. American light welterweight Gary Russell lost to Uzbekistan’s Fazliddin Gaibnararov, though Gaibnararov ran the last two rounds and was warned numerous times for failing to engage.

Gaibnararov won a split decision. Judges Roland Juhasz and Kestutis Bagdanavicius favored Gaibnararov 29-28, while Enrico Licini had it 29-28 for Russell.

And in an outcome that caused Irish bantamweight Michael Conlan to angrily tweet at Russian president Vladimir Putin, judges awarded Vladimir Nikitin a 29-28 unanimous decision win.

Conlan gave double middle fingers to the judges in the ring and then accused Putin of a bribe later via Twitter.

Judges in the Conlan-Nikitin fight were Jones Kennedy Silva do Rosario, Udeni Talik Bandara Kiridena and Mariusz Gorny.

Though there were numerous allegations of corruption, AIBA’s statement said it backed its officials but would review credible evidence.

“With regard to corruption, we would like to strongly restate 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 its R&J community, whose integrity is constantly put into question,” the statement said. “The organization will not be deterred by subjective judgments made by discontented parties. We welcome all parties to come forward and provide evidence in order to take appropriate and immediate action.”

There were other fights in which there was outrage over the scoring, particularly in reigning gold medalist Katie Taylor’s loss Monday to Mira Potkonen, but none of them rose to the level of Tishchenko-Levit, Russell-Gaibnararov or Conlan-Nikitin.

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