In light of controversial defeats for Michael Conlan and Kazakh fighter Vassily Levit, a senior Olympic official has claimed that "corruption is alive and well" in amateur boxing.
Conlan lost on points to Russia's Vladimir Nikitin on Tuesday, going down 10-9 in the first round despite appearing to comprehensively outbox his opponent. In the aftermath of the fight, he accused the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA) of being "cheating bastards" and of "paying everybody," before stating that "amateur boxing stinks from the core right to the top."
Conlan's defeat dovetailed with another controversial loss, this time for Vassily Levit of Kazakhstan. He was beaten by another Russian competitor, Evgeny Tishchenko, who was roundly booed when the result was declared, so sure were the crowd that Levit should have been declared the winner.
Now, The Guardian reports that a senior official has alleged there is endemic corruption in Olympic boxing. He reportedly said: "As predicted, the corruption is alive and well and the decisions speak for themselves. It is clear that AIBA will not do anything about this. It is time now for the IOC to step in."
The official has gone as far as to say that the problem is so deep-seated that a solution would require the removal of AIBA president CK Wu, all of his administration and all of his officials. He added: "President Wu needs to resign, as well as the executive director and the senior staff. Every RJ [referee and judge] and ITO [international technical official] needs to be suspended. That's the only way it's going to change."
With so much controversy surrounding the boxing, Rio 2016 is bound to be remembered in the same breath as the 1988 Seoul Olympics. That event is famous for the monumentally contentious fight between Roy Jones Jr. and Korea's Park Si-hun, in which a win for the latter was so patently unfair that it plunged AIBA into crisis and hugely damaged the organisation's credibility. How times change.