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Olympic boxing bouts fixed according to report

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Officials at the 2016 Beijing Olympics manipulated fights, according to an independent report commissioned by the International Boxing association (AIBA)

The report, by international sports law expert professor Richard McLaren, said that at least eleven matches were suspicious.

Officials manipulated a heavyweight gold medal fight between Russia’s Evgeny Tishcenko and Kazakhstan’s Vassily Levit, according to McLaren’s report.

Tishchenko won the fight unanimously, despite a review showing Levit landed more punches during the fight.

Mclaren’s report also flagged Irish fighter Michael Conlan’s controversial quarter final split decision loss to Russia’s Vladimir Nikitin as a manipulated bout.

AIBA have blamed former president Wu Ching-kuo and his administration for allowing the manipulation to take place.

Umar Kremlev, president of AIBA, said the report was the result of transparency at the organisation under his leadership.

“Professor McLaren and his team have identified a system for manipulating the results of bouts at the Rio 2016 boxing tournament. I am determined to ensure that boxers receive a fair fight. This determination is demonstrated by AIBA’s clear commitment to uncovering the truth and acting on it,” Kremlev said.

”We must now carefully examine the report and see what steps are needed to ensure justice. What is important is that we make sure the mechanisms are in place to show that results are above suspicion.”  

Professor McLaren will continue his investigation, focusing on more recent key tournaments and other Olympic boxing events.

In response AIBA has introduced strict selection criteria for future tournaments, including random selection criteria and ethics training for officials.

“AIBA hired Professor McLaren because we have nothing to hide,” Kremlev said.

“We will work to incorporate any helpful recommendations that are made. We will also take legal advice with regard to what action is possible against those found to have participated in any manipulation. There should be no place in the AIBA

AIBA has also vowed to introduce more transparency to scoring, including displaying scoring live during bouts and a mechanism for evaluating judge’s decisions.

-By Parker McKenzie

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