Reuters Bengaluru, India
Aug 02, 2016, 10.40 AM
The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has dismissed allegations of corruption within the organisation and demanded proof after a British newspaper reported that some bouts in the Rio Olympics could be fixed.
According to The Guardian, citing multiple sources, a group of senior referees and judges met before a major championship to decide on how to score certain bouts having earlier relied on hand and head signals to select a winner.
"We reiterate that, unless tangible proof is put forward, not just rumours, we cannot further comment on these allegations," the paper quoted the sport's global governing body as saying.
"Our role is to ensure a fair and transparent competition and that the thousands of spectators and millions of fans enjoy an amazing tournament with 13 great and undisputed gold medallists. It is not a matter for AIBA to interfere with the decision made by the judges under sporting rules."
Irish judge Seamus Kelly, one of the sources named in the report, said he had been asked to fix bouts at the Arab Games in Doha in 2011 using signals, and that his fellow officials were afraid to speak out.
"People are afraid... because if they are judges they will be sidelined and won't get to go to the Olympics or other championships. If they are officials, they fear their country's boxers will be targeted," he said.
AIBA executive committee member Terry Smith said he was not aware of the allegations, and challenged officials to take up the matter using established channels within the organisation.
"I wish they'd confide a little bit internally," he added. "I would like them to challenge it where it takes place. These are the types of rumours we certainly don't want with the Olympics coming up."