Image credit- Tokyo 2020
All thirty six referees which were involved in the 2016 Olympics in Brazil have been banned from officiating at the Olympics in Tokyo next year.
The IOC (International Olympic Committee) made a statement last Wednesday to rule out all those that were suspended from the last Olympics in Rio, will not be allowed to officiate for the Olympics next year due to new selection criteria which deemed them ineligible to officiate.
In Rio De Janeiro, 3 years ago, many judges and referees were suspended from action and sent home from Brazil due to various questionable decisions which were made during the Boxing competition in what were considered ‘fixed’ by an investigation carried out by the International Boxing Association (AIBA).
Controversy was aroused as the decision was made back in 2016 that Irish boxer Michael Conlan had lost against Russian Vladimir Nikitin robbing him of a semi-final place after many seen Conlan to completely outbox him.
Alongside this, Kazakhstan heavy weight Vassiliy levit was also denied his gold medal as Russia’s Evgeny Tischenko was confusingly and controversially awarded the win in the final.
AIBA addressed the matter by claiming to take immediate action and sent six referees and judges’ home. However, after the fight Conlan took to twitter to say: “Wow this says a lot about AIBA, sending judges home who ruin dream, what happens 2 the ppl whose dreams were ruined?” Conlan vows that he will never box in an AIBA event again.
Although investigations in 2017 found that there was no interference, the IOC plan to increase transparency and integrity in the forthcoming Olympics and so therefore have changed the selection process of officiating at Tokyo.
Both referees and judges will now be picked at random from a pool of AIBA certified officials, who have been vetted prior to the event in order to ensure that they meet the selection criteria and are eligible for Tokyo 2020. This process of selection will also be conducted under supervision so that there is no space for error.
In addition to this, all scores will be publicly displayed from all Judges at the end of each and every round. These new improvements will also be implemented into the qualifying events in Tokyo as well as the games themselves representing consistency, full transparency and integrity.
Boxing task force chairman Morinari Watanabe spoke out on the matter to say: “The main objective of the IOC boxing task force is to ensure the completion of the mission of delivering events, while putting the boxers first, and with transparent and credible sporting results and fair play”.
The process of pool selection is currently underway and the IOC have a long way to go in order to retain faith from their athletes before the qualifiers begin next February in Asia.