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Rio Olympics: Michael Conlan responds to AIBA decision to send home some judges and referees

By Cormac Byrne

Belfast boxer Michael Conlan has responded to the decision from the AIBA to send home a 'handful' of judges and referees after reviewing their performance at Rio.

Conlan vented his fury yesterday and branded the AIBA 'cheating b******s' after he was beaten in controversial circumstances in his bantamweight quarter-final bout with Russia's Vladimir Nikitin.

The AIBA announced today that a number of judges and referees would not officiate again at the Rio Games because because decisions were 'not at the level expected'.

AIBA's statement read: " Following recent judging decisions and after carrying out a thorough examination by the relevant commission, AIBA has decided to take immediate and appropriate actions.

"Since the beginning of the Olympic Games, AIBA has conducted 239 bouts. The AIBA R&J commission has reviewed all decisions and determined that less than a handful of the decisions were not at the level expected and consequently it has been decided in accordance with the AIBA R&J evaluation committee that the concerned referees and judges will no longer officiate at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. In accordance with AIBA rules the result of all the bouts will stand.

"AIBA represents 200 national federations and has continuously sought to evolve the sport of boxing and continuously strive to ensure a level playing field.

"AIBA will not shy away from its responsibilities and is fully committed to a zero tolerance policy towards fair play in boxing, always acting in the boxers' utmost interest.

"The Olympic Games represent the pinnacle of all sports and boxing has been part of this since 1904. It is essential AIBA stands to the values of respect, sportsmanship, excellence and remains committed to a fair and transparent sport.

"With regard to corruption, we would like to strongly restate that unless tangible proof is put forward, not rumours, we will continue to use any means, including legal or disciplinary actions to protect our sport and its R&J community whose integrity is constantly put into question.

"The organisation will not be deterred by subjective judgements made by discontented parties. We welcome all parties to come forward and provide evidence in order to take appropriate and immediate action."

After seeing the statement this afternoon, Conlan tweeted: "Wow this says a lot about AIBA, Sending judges home who ruin dreams, what happens 2 the ppl who's dream were ruined?"

Irish Independent

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