- Last Updated: 8:53 AM, August 3, 2012
- Posted: 12:38 AM, August 3, 2012
Was the fix in?
A boxing referee from Turkmenistan was expelled from the London Olympics yesterday for his handling of a bout in which the result was overturned on appeal as bribery allegations heated up.
Boxing’s governing federation, the International Amateur Boxing Association (known as AIBA), released a statement saying referee Ishanguly Meretnyyazov “is on his way back home.”
On Wednesday night, in a bantamweight bout, Magomed Abdulhamidov of Azerbaijan fell to the canvas six times in the third round against Satoshi Shimizu of Japan, yet still won a 22-17 decision.
Last September, BBC Newsnight presented evidence Azerbaijan had paid millions to an international boxing organization to ensure that two men from the country would win gold medals at the London Olympics, information dug up by Deadspin. The program found documents showing a $9 million bank transfer, funneled through Switzerland, to a boxing organization owned by AIBA, which oversees Olympic boxing.
Meretnyyazov allowed Wednesday’s fight to continue after each tumble by Abdulhamidov. He also enraged the Japanese team by fixing the headgear worn by Abdulhamidov, who had to be helped from the ring after winning.
The AIBA overturned the result late Wednesday night, saying Meretnyyazov should have counted at least three knockdowns and stopped the bout.
The AIBA also expelled technical official Aghajan Abiyev of Azerbaijan without specifying what he had done, saying only he had committed “a number of breaches” of its code of conduct.
Last year, the boxing organization found allegations of bribery baseless, calling the money exchanging hands a “purely commercial investment.”
— Additional reporting by the Associated PressFollow @NYPostsports