London - All
36 referees and judges used at the Rio Olympic boxing have been removed
for the time being as the sport's amateur governing body investigates
the officiating which overshadowed the action in the ring, it said on
Several beaten fighters in Rio alleged they had been the victim of
poor or even corrupt judging at the August Olympics and the
International Boxing Association (AIBA) sent home an undisclosed number
of referees and judges at the time, while strenuously denying claims of
corruption and threatening legal action.
"Rio 2016 was a watershed moment for AIBA. Boxing was in the
spotlight for positive reasons, but occasionally also for the wrong
ones," AIBA president Wu Ching-Kuo said, after top officials held talks
in Lausanne, Switzerland this week to discuss how to avoid more
controversy when Olympic boxing takes centre stage once more in Tokyo in
In Rio professional fighters took part at an Olympics for the first
time in the event only three made it - and AIBA also binned
headguards for men boxers, both part of moves to make Games boxing
closer to the pro fight game and thus more attractive to the public.
The AIBA said these reforms had enjoyed a "seamless integration", but
admitted that "a small number of decisions under debate indicated that
further reforms... were necessary".
"The results of a specific R&J (referees and judges)
investigation, currently under way, will allow AIBA to fully assess what
action needs to be taken," it said in a statement.
"In the mean time, it has been decided that all 36 R&Js that were
used at the Olympic Games will not officiate at any AIBA event until
the investigation reaches its conclusion".
Despite the judging controversies the AIBA said it would stick with
the "10-point must system" of scoring bouts based on the same method of
scoring professional fights.
That means no return to the punch-counting method used at some
previous Olympics that also threw up numerous scandals, although the
AIBA will make some subtle tweaks in an effort to make scoring more
transparent and says it will help fighters and coaches to better
understand how bouts are scored.
"As a governing body, AIBA will always seek to evolve the sport but
will continue to refute unsubstantiated claims that have tarnished the
reputation of our sport," the statement added.
"The judging system can never become a scapegoat for boxers and
coaches who perform disappointingly in the ring and display
inappropriate behaviour or comments to media.
"This will be even more closely monitored in the future and firm disciplinary action will be taken when necessary."