Several Boxing Matches Were Fixed at 2016 Olympics, Investigation Finds

Several Boxing Matches Were Fixed at 2016 Olympics, Investigation Finds article feature image

Credit: Stephen McCarthy, Getty. Vladimir Nikitin and Michael Conlan exchange punches in a bout at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Several boxing bouts at the 2016 Olympics in Rio were fixed, according to independent investigator Richard McLaren.

The Associated Press reported that McLaren found around 11 bouts that were manipulated, and there could have been more. He added that these bouts included medal rounds.

In a press conference held at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, McLaren announced a number of findings from an investigation commissioned by the International Boxing Association (AIBA).

These findings indicate that AIBA officials intentionally selected judges and referees that would be willing to ignore signs of manipulation or engage in manipulation.

“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." – Associated Press

According to the Associated Press, a bout between Ireland's Michael Conlan and Russia's Vladimir Nikitin sparked concerns that nefarious actions could be occurring. After the fight, Conlan accused Russia and the AIBA of corruption.

Current AIBA president Umar Kremlev stated that fight judging has been reformed since 2016 and that there is, "no place in the AIBA family for anyone who has fixed a fight."

McLaren said he recommends sanctions against many AIBA officials, including former AIBA president Ching-Kuo Wu and former executive director Karim Bouzidi, who were complicit in the corruption.

The investigation is the first part of three sections that are commissioned and can be read here.

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