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Boxing officials at Rio 2016 banned from Tokyo 2020 Olympics

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Tokyo 2020

None of the 36 referees and judges used at the Rio 2016 boxing competition will be allowed to officiate at Tokyo 2020, an International Olympic Committee task force has said.

Several judges and referees were sent home from Rio after a number of questionable decisions during the boxing tournament.

At Tokyo, referees and judges will be picked from a pool of International Boxing Association (AIBA) certified officials, who have been reviewed to ensure they meet the criteria.

“The main objective of the IOC boxing task force is to ensure the completion of the mission of delivering events, while putting the boxers first, and with transparent and credible sporting results and fair play,” said boxing task force chair Morinari Watanabe.

An investigation by the AIBA in 2017 found no interference in results and recommended that the Rio judges be reintegrated on a “case-by-case basis”, but the IOC’s new selection criteria have now ruled them ineligible for the Tokyo Games.

The task force said its decision followed discussions with athletes to increase clarity, transparency, and integrity in the selection process and officiating at the Olympics.

Scores from all judges at the end of each round will also now be displayed publicly during qualifying competitions and the Games.

Irish bantamweight Michael Conlan, who said he was “robbed”, and Kazakhstan’s Vassiliy Levit lost bouts in which they both appeared to win comfortably during Rio 2016.

“The atmosphere before Conlan was toxic – the night before his bout the decision in the heavyweight final was bad. Russian Evgeny Tishchenko took that gold medal when he was awarded the verdict against Kazakhstan’s Levit.

“Conlan even acknowledges that the result in that final was dreadful, certainly as bad as his.

“After the first round of Conlan, when the shocking score was in, there was a growing ripple of discontent and disbelief inside the arena.

“Several of the Irish boxers had the score, they got it to the corner. There was a shock – people knew then that something bad was happening. It was the confirmation of all the rumours that had been circulating.

“People in the radio and television media sections were removing their headsets, covering their microphones and shouting to each other things like: ‘Have they got the corners mixed up?’ Nobody could believe it.

“It is often overlooked but Conlan won the third, I thought he won it clear. But, the verdict appears to have been sorted. There is an amazing picture at the end when the result is announced: Conlan is full of such rage that he doesn’t look like Michael Conlan, his face is distorted. It was a bad, bad afternoon.”


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