AIBA investigation finds match-fixing of boxing bouts at 2016 Rio Olympics

Match-fixing scandal hits Boxing.
Match-fixing scandal hits Boxing.

An investigation by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) found out that bouts at the 2016 Rio Olympics were fixed by “complicit and compliant” referees and judges. The world body appointed investigator Richard McLaren, who found that AIBA officials selected judges and referees to ensure that bouts could be manipulated in Olympic qualifiers and at the Rio Games.

“Key personnel decided that the rules did not apply to them,” said McLaren, who added there was a “culture of fear, intimidation and obedience in the ranks of the referees and judges."

As per the findings, judges and referees were told who should win a bout in the morning prior to the day of the bout at the Olympics. McLaren, though, could not find the mastermind behind the entire match-fixing scheme.

"A random selection element has been introduced during the competition and further training will be carried out onsite, including but not limited to, a module on enhanced ethics and behavioral provisions. Comprehensive mechanisms are in place to evaluate scoring, and scoring is now displayed live during bouts," the world body said.

The boxing federation has been chaired by Russian businessman Umar Kremlev since December and says it has introduced reforms in judging bouts since 2016. The report added that none of the judges or referees from the 2016 Rio Games were part of the Tokyo Olympic officials team after being suspended by AIBA.

IOC not happy with International Boxing Federation

The boxing event in Tokyo was directly organized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) instead of AIBA. The IOC is reportedly not happy with how AIBA operates.

Earlier this month, the IOC expressed its “deepest concerns” about the world body. They went on to add that they received complaints about refereeing and judging at two major boxing events this year – the Asian championships and world youth championships.

The IOC has for now refused to comment on whether boxing will stay on the Olympic program at the 2024 Paris Games or not. However, McLaren’s investigation has put AIBA in a situation they did not wish to be in. The inquiry into the 2016 Rio Olympic bouts will now be broadened to examine whether there was corruption in AIBA management.

Also Read: Lovlina Borgohain gets direct entry in Indian squad for women’s boxing world championships

Edited by Diptanil Roy
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