AIBA suspends judges from Rio Olympics following ferocious criticism but warns legal action against corruption allegations

Joe Hall
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Boxing - Olympics: Day 11
Conlan blasted Aiba as "cheating bastards" (Source: Getty)

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has suspended a number of judges from the Rio Olympics after a series of controversial decisions led to public questioning of their credibility.

AIBA were the subject of a headline-grabbing rant from Irish bantamweight Michael Conlan who accused the organisation of corruption after he controversially lost on a unanimous decision to Russian Vladimir Nikitin in the quarter-final.

All three judges for Conlan's fight awarded the third and final round to Nikitin, yet stats from boxing data provider Compubox reveal the Irishman landed 31 punches from 126 thrown compared to his opponents' 21 punches from 87 thrown.

"AIBA are cheats, they're f***ing cheats it's as simple as that," Conlan raged. "They're cheating bastards, they're paying everybody...Amateur boxing stinks, from the core right to the top."

His angry response came after widespread outrage from boxing pundits over the decision to award the heavyweight boxing final to Russian Evgeny Tishchenko, despite Kazakh opponent Vassiliy Levit landing 27 more punches at a more accurate rate, and was followed by another controversial loss for American Gary Russell who the onlooking Floyd Mayweather Jr claimed had been "robbed".

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AIBA has since prompted into reviewing all 239 bouts that have taken place at the Games so far and sent home judges it deemed responsible for sub-par decisions in a small number of fights.

"The AIBA R&J Commission has reviewed all decisions and determined that less than a handful of the decisions were not at the level expected and consequently it has been decided...that the concerned referees and judges will no longer officiate at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games," the organisation said in a statement.

AIBA has been dogged by allegations of corruption ahead of the last two Olympics but in an apparent warning to fighters such as Conlan said it would take legal action against any unsubstantiated accusations.

Ahead of this year's Games, the Guardian reported that bouts in Rio could be fixed, citing anonymous officials within the sport.

"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 disciplinary actions to protect our sport and its R&J 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."