In boxing we are often left with the question as to whether it’s corruption or incompetence that leads to ridiculous decisions when the scores are read — but in the case of the 2016 Rio de Janiero Olympics it’s been found to be the former.
Richard McLaren was appointed by AIBA to lead an investigation and just held a formal press conference where he announced that AIBA officials willfully and specifically selected referees and judges alike in order to assure they could manipulate the outcome in both the qualifying rounds and the Olympic games itself, as reported by ESPN.
“Key personnel decided that the rules did not apply to them,” said McLaren, who added there was a “culture of fear, intimidation and obedience in the ranks of the referees and judges.”
Both referees and judges were informed of who ought win the bouts on the mornings before a day of scheduled fights, although McLaren said he couldn’t specifically identify who was running the scheme that determined the ‘winners’ before the contests even took place.
It should be noted, however, that none of the referees nor judges from the 2016 Olympics participated in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after widespread talk of corruption forced AIBA to suspend the lot. Instead the International Olympic Committee organized the 2020 tournament, who remains extremely displeased with how AIBA is being run.
This month alone the IOC has received additional complaints on two AIBA-run events, the World Youth Championships and the Asian Championships, to the point where the IOC has yet to confirm whether or not boxing will even be apart of the 2024 Olympic games in Paris. As of now, though, McLaren is expected to continue his investigation into corruption at the management level of AIBA, which one would naturally assume to be the case considering the scope of this scheme.
We’ll keep you posted as more information is revealed.