AIBA admit to “atmosphere of collusion” in Rio – but deny any influence on the results

While they deny any “influence on the results”, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) have admitted that there were “unprofessional relationships” within the organisation during the Rio Olympics.

A statement released by the AIBA today described how an atmosphere of collusion developed between senior management and referees and judges that at the Games in which Mick Conlan infamously lost at the quarter final stage to Vladimir Nikitin.

The AIBA however stressed that a special investigation comprising of 50 interviews by a committee of experts found zero evidence of active interference in the results in Brazil, and confirmed that “there is no evidence that the reallocation of medal rankings is required.”

AIBA overlord Ching-kuo Wu conceded that “an unwelcome axis of influence and sole decision-making had been created and used by former Senior Management that led to a lack of due process being carried out.”

“The SIC [Special Investigation Committee] also found unprofessional relationships within AIBA had created an atmosphere of collusion between senior management and the Five-Star R&Js that undermined the organisation and had a negative impact on its operating efficiency.”

“Whilst there is no evidence that this had a direct influence on results in Rio, if best practice is not followed 100% of the time by our officials and R&Js (referees and judges), that is unacceptable.”

Today’s statement spoke of a “lack of proper procedural norms” due to “a concentration of decision-making power and the assigning of roles assumed by former senior management that had a detrimental impact on in-competition best practice.”

Conlan launched into the AIBA following his ‘loss’ to Nikitin, who was unable to compete in the semi finals, and labelled the body “f*cking cheats.”

The Magnficent Seven of 5-Star R&Js was subsequently disbanded and all 36 R&Js used in the Games were sidelined following the conclusion of the tournament. These will now be reintegrated on a case-by-case basis.

Conlan was fined the maximum €9,335 by the body, a fine he has pledged not to pay.

The AIBA also used the statement to announce the implementation of a new educational programme for boxers, coaches, officials, and fans to provide a “greater understanding of scoring” and provide a £strong reminder of the importance of sportsmanship, respect and fair play values”

In what seemed to be a jab aimed at the outspoken Conlan, it continued

“The subjectivity of scoring is part of what makes the sport unique, and the nature of the contest means that strong opinions are formed by teams and fans, but that should not impact negatively on the integrity of the officials.”

Eric Donovan joins Gavan Casey and Joe O’Neill on Episode 2 of the Irish Boxing Show:

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie