Olympic Boxing: Judges sent home amid criticism

Michael Conlan vs Vladimir Nikitin
Image: Michael Conlan was disgusted by the decision to award fight to opponent Vladimir Nikitin

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has dropped a number of judges and referees at the Rio Olympics after a review of decisions at the Games.

The move comes a day after Ireland bantamweight Michael Conlan suffered a controversial defeat to Russian boxer Vladimir Nikitin.

After 239 Olympic bouts, the federation said "less than a handful" of the decisions were not at the level expected.

"The concerned referees and judges will no longer officiate at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games," the body said, adding that the results of all the bouts would stand.  

"AIBA will not shy away from its responsibilities and is fully committed… [to] always acting in the boxers' utmost interest," the statement continued.

"The Olympic Games represent the pinnacle of all sports and boxing has been part of this since 1904. It is essential AIBA stands to the values of respect, sportsmanship, excellence and remains committed to a fair and transparent sport."

Vladimir Nikitin celebrates the decision over Michael Conlan
Image: Nikitin celebrates the decision over Conlan

Conlan - the AIBA world amateur champion - tore into the organisation during a post-fight interview with Irish broadcaster RTE Sport, suggesting the organisation is corrupt, adding "amateur boxing stinks from the core right the way to the top."

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AIBA hinted in their statement they could take action against the Irishman and urged anyone with evidence of corruption to come forward and present the details.

The statement added: "With regard to corruption, we would like to strongly restate that unless tangible proof is put forward, not rumours, we will continue to use any means, including legal or disciplinary actions to protect our sport and its R&J (referees and judges) community whose integrity is constantly put into question.

"The organisation will not be deterred by subjective judgements made by discontented parties. We welcome all parties to come forward and provide evidence in order to take appropriate and immediate action."

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