After an investigation that has lasted more than two years, New York State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott has just released a scathing report on the New York State Athletic Commission. The report indicates that NYSAC neglected its duties and lacked of proper oversight in handling a late 2013 fight between Magomed Abdusalamov and Mike Perez -- a fight where Abdusalamov was severely injured and essentially left to fend for himself after the bout. RingTV.com got the scoop on the new report, with the official report being available to read here.
Specifically, the 48-page report cites a long list of errors committed by the commission and states that NYSAC failed to live up to its basic responsibilities before, during, and after the fight. The report cites a "systemic breakdown of its most basic operations" in a bout where Abdusalamov suffered serious brain damage as a result.
"Many Athletic Commission practices, policies and procedures were either nonexistent or deficient, specifically those relating to post-bout medical care, tactical emergency plans and communication, and training," the report said.
Although there were two ambulances on site at Madison Square Garden that night, and despite Abdusalamov's complaints of not feeling well after the fight, no one in the commission told him to take one to the nearest hospital to be evaluated. He instead was forced to hail a cab to get to a hospital while his condition deteriorated. Once at the hospital, Abdusalamov was discovered to have a large blood clot in his brain, prompting an emergency surgery where Abdusalamov was placed in a medically induced coma.
Abdusalamov would end up suffering multiple strokes and spent nearly a year in the hospital while his family has been overwhelmed by medical bills (which exceeded $2 million over a year ago). Abdusalamov can neither walk nor talk, provide for his family, and has a prognosis that his condition will never improve. That leaves many of us wondering if things might've turned out differently had appropriate protocols been in place.
"The Inspector General found that the Athletic Commission did not have a complete post- fight emergency plan in place on the night of November 2, 2013," according to the report.
And as bad as that is, the report also indicates that NYSAC chairwoman Melvina Lathan "failed to ensure the appropriate and routine review of Athletic Commission policies and procedures, and failed to train staff on the proper response to medical issues that may arise after a fight." Lathan was also found to have accepted inappropriate gifts from promoters.
Additionally, her successor Thomas Hoover (who just handed in his resignation), was also found also found to have committed a number of inappropriate actions himself, including allowing his friends to attend matches free of charge and knowingly referring an unqualified person for a commission job.
All of this amounts to one huge mess at the New York State Athletic Commission. But in the meantime, Inspector Leahy Scott has made several recommendations to improve NYSAC's procedures, which the commission has agreed to implement going forward.