AIBA probe reveals bout manipulation at Rio 2016

World Boxing body promises clean up of corrupt practices

September 30, 2021 10:59 pm | Updated 10:59 pm IST - New Delhi

More than 10 bouts in the 2016 Rio Olympics boxing competition were manipulated for “money” and other “perceived benefits”, an independent investigation has revealed, prompting the International Boxing Association (AIBA) to promise a “tough” selection process for referees and judges at the upcoming men’s World championship.

System in place

The first phase report of the McLaren Global Sport Solutions’ independent investigation into boxing, which was accessed by PTI, has been handed to AIBA and revealed that “a system for the manipulation of bouts by officials existed at Rio”.

In all, 14 bouts came under the scanner, including two finals.

“It was a complete reversal of Santa Clause’s myth of the naughty and the nice. The naughty were gifted an appointment at Rio because they were willing, or under pressure to support any request for manipulation, while the nice were left out,” the report noted referring to the dubious sappointment of officials at the Games.

The damning findings of the investigation stated that conspiracy to manipulate Rio results dated back as far back as before the 2012 London Olympics and that a trial run was carried out during the qualifying events for the 2016 edition.

“Bouts were manipulated for money, perceived benefit of AIBA, or to thank National Federations and their Olympic committees, and, on occasion, hosts of competitions for their financial support,” it stated.

“The investigation to date has concluded that such manipulation involved significant six figure sums on occasion. The manipulation methodology relied upon corruption within the cadre of corrupted R&Js (referees and judges) and the Draw Commission,” it added.

The AIBA has promised more stringent mechanism to appoint referees and judges. “AIBA noted the findings regarding the Rio 2016 boxing tournament with concern and confirmed that extensive reforms have been implemented to ensure sporting integrity at current AIBA competitions,” the body stated.

Referees, judges and technical officials being appointed to the World Championships in Belgrade from October 24 now face tough selection criteria, including background and other checks conducted by MGSS.

The report said that the then AIBA head Ching-Kuo Wu held direct responsibility for the fiasco in Rio.

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