LONDON – Referee Ishanguly Meretnyyazov from Turkmenistan has been expelled from the London Olympics, the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) said on Thursday.
A second referee, Frank Scharmach of Germany, was suspended for five days by AIBA and a technical official from Azerbaijan sent home following two controversial decisions at the Olympic competition on Wednesday.
“I deeply regret that we had to take these decisions,” AIBA President Wu Ching-Kuo said in a statement.
“However, our main concern has been and will always be the protection of the integrity and fair-play of our competitions. I will take all possible steps to reinforce this.”
He later told Reuters: “There is only one truth and we always get to the truth.”
Meretnyyazov failed to stop a men’s bantamweight bout despite fighter Magomed Abdulhamidov being knocked down six times in the final round. The referee was expelled with immediate effect and AIBA said he was on his way home.
Japan’s Satoshi Shimizu, who went into the last round of the bout against the Azerbaijani trailing by seven points, lost the contest by five when all three rounds were scored.
AIBA later overturned the verdict saying Meretnyyazov should have given the Azerbaijani “at least” three standing counts which would have resulted in the contest being stopped.
Iran’s Ali Mazaheri accused officials of “a fix” after being disqualified by referee Scharmach in the second round of his opening heavyweight bout against Cuban Jose Larduet Gomez following three warnings for persistent holding.
Mazaheri was leading by two points going into the second round but the Iran team did not appeal and under AIBA rules it is now too late to do so.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) restored ties with AIBA in 2006 after freezing some funds to the association over controversial scoring decisions at the 2004 Athens Games.
At the time, the IOC expressed concerns over the scoring process and the selection of judges and froze more than $1 million in payments to AIBA.
The boxing tournament in Athens was marred by several controversial scores that angered spectators and fans.