Boxing Association Removes Olympic Judges and Refs

Amid accusations of corruption
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 17, 2016 3:55 PM CDT
The loss of Kazakhstan's Vassiliy Levit, right, to Russia's Evgeny Tishchenko during the men's heavyweight final boxing match Monday in Rio led to public outcry.   (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

(Newser) – The International Boxing Association has removed an undisclosed number of referees and judges from the Olympics after determining they had not met the organization's standards of competence, the AP reports. AIBA announced the decision Wednesday, declining to disclose the judges' names or the bouts in which they failed. The results of all bouts will stand, however. The AIBA said in a statement that "less than a handful" of the first 239 bouts had been deemed incompetently judged or refereed. Russian heavyweight Evgeny Tishchenko's victory over Kazakh Vassiliy Levit sparked a wide public outcry over the decision, which rewarded Tishchenko's retreat over Levit's power and excitement.

AIBA executive board member Tom Virgets says that result is likely to be a catalyst for changes in the organization's judging criteria. Irish bantamweight world champion Michael Conlan also complained vociferously and profanely after his quarterfinal loss to Russia's Vladimir Nikitin on Tuesday, accusing AIBA and Russia of wholesale corruption. Despite the high-profile problems, the Rio Olympics have featured fewer judging controversies than in previous recent games. AIBA moved from a punch-counting system to a traditional 10-point pro scoring system three years ago. Judges are still training in the system's nuances, but the change has been well received. (Read more Rio Olympics stories.)

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