Boxing officials barred amid Rio probe

LONDON • All 36 referees and judges used at the Rio Olympic boxing competition have been removed for the time being, as the sport's amateur governing body investigates the officiating which overshadowed the action in the ring, it said on Thursday.

Several beaten fighters alleged that they had been the victim of poor or even corrupt judging at the August Games. The International Boxing Association (Aiba) sent home an undisclosed number of referees and judges at the time, while strenuously denying claims of corruption and threatening legal action.

"Rio 2016 was a watershed moment for Aiba. Boxing was in the spotlight for positive reasons, but occasionally also for the wrong ones," Aiba president Wu Ching-kuo said, after top officials held talks in Lausanne, Switzerland this week to discuss how to avoid more controversy when Olympic boxing takes centre stage once more in Tokyo in 2020.

The Aiba admitted that "a small number of decisions under debate indicated that further reforms were necessary".

"The results of a specific R&J (referees and judges) investigation, currently under way, will allow Aiba to fully assess what action needs to be taken," it said in a statement.

"In the meantime, it has been decided that all 36 R&Js that were used at the Olympic Games will not officiate at any Aiba event until the investigation reaches its conclusion."

Controversial boxer Tyson Fury's problems also continued to mount on Thursday, as it was revealed that he had failed a second test for cocaine.

The World Boxing Organisation had already said that it would decide in the next fortnight whether to strip him of his heavyweight title.

Fury's second failure was from a sample taken on Sept 21, the day before the failed test that was confirmed last week.

He has admitted taking cocaine and drinking heavily during his struggle with depression.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 08, 2016, with the headline 'Boxing officials barred amid Rio probe'. Print Edition | Subscribe