Reports | Rio 2016 boxing decisions under suspicion for corruption

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Reports | Rio 2016 boxing decisions under suspicion for corruption

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SportsCafe Desk

03/26/2019

An internal investigation by amateur boxing’s world body - AIBA - has raised serious questions about the judging at the 2016 Rio Olympics which threw suspicion on one French official. France were the major winners in boxing during the global showpiece by picking up a total of six medals.

An internal email from AIBA’s former president Wu Ching-Ko dated November 18, 2016, gave a reason to doubt that the international body suspected senior French official Karim Bouzidi of acting with another senior official to influence the judges during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

French newspaper Le Monde, which published the report on Monday in partnership with Bulgaria newspaper Bulgaria Today, further reported that Bouzidi favoured fighters hailing from Uzbekistan and France at the 2016 showpiece. The report further included that investigators had seen an internal AIBA report and emails that showed the governing body was concerned Bouzidi had influenced the decisions of five-star judges in the Olympic bouts.

Bouzidi, who earlier served as AIBA’s executive director was removed from his post three days before the end of the Olympic tournament. 

“The results in Rio were not ‘stolen,’ they are honest. It’s true that we knew Bouzidi but we never blackmailed him,” Andre Martin, head of the French Boxing Federation, told Le Monde.

AIBA’s internal investigation further pointed out that Bouzidi had the power to appoint the referees and officials for competitions but added that there was no direct proof that these changes influenced the results of fights in any way whatsoever.

“We always played by the rules… We organized events in France so that the athletes could become better known. If the fight was close, it might play in the boxer’s favor if they were better known. In Rio, we got results thanks to our reputation and our previous results,” Kevinn Rabaud, former French coach, added.

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