Conlan calls for criminal charges against corrupt officials
Michael Conlan has called on those involved in manufacturing fights at the Rio Olympics to face criminal charges for sports fraud.
This week it was announced that an independent investigation into the Olympic boxing competition in Rio 2016 had determined that an informal system of combat manipulation existed, with Conlan’s match against Russian Vladimir Nikitin among those found to be “suspect.” .
The head of the investigation commissioned by the International Boxing Association (AIBA), Professor Richard McLaren, presented his main findings at a press conference in Lausanne, Switzerland, Thursday.
He revealed that “about nine fights” were “suspect beyond the two reported in the media at the time,” the latest of which included Conlan’s loss to Nikitin.
Conlan has now called for criminal charges to be brought against those involved and urged AIBA to grant
“I was the reigning world champion, seeded No. 1 and favorite for gold in Rio and my dream was snatched away – how can I put a price on it?” he said the Guardian. âTo be honest, I had put him to bed, but reading the report gave me hope for justice.
“But for justice to be served, it will not be enough for everyone involved in corruption to be kicked out of sport,” he said. “It’s a white collar crime. It’s sports fraud. Those involved should be charged as criminals.
“After calling AIBA corrupt in Rio, they fined me 10,000 Swiss francs for speaking out,” he added. âI never paid it, but if I ever want to work in amateur boxing as a coach or trainer, I should give them the money before I come back.
“How can it be fair that I am fined for telling the truth and reacting like any normal person – when those responsible for the corruption may not face something like that?”
Describing the findings of his report, McLaren said the 2015 and 2016 qualifiers leading up to the Rio Games were the “training ground for corruption and fight manipulation in Rio” and “refined in anticipation. of its use “at the Olympics that year.
They were “referees and judges complicit and compliant to be assigned to specific fights to ensure the manipulation of results,” he added.
The report found that judges were often “the prey of those with corrupt motives.” Qualifying events for Rio have become the training ground where manipulation methods have been “fine-tuned”, according to the report.
Meanwhile, Joe Joyce believes he should be awarded an Olympic gold medal after an independent investigation revealed his loss at Rio 2016 was one of 11 fights believed to have been manipulated.
The Londoner settled for the silver five years ago after being on the wrong side of a split decision with Frenchman Tony Yoka in their super-heavyweight final, one of many controversial judging decisions at the Games.
Joyce is appalled by the news and called on AIBA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to act.
He said in a statement on his social media: “I firmly believe that I was the winner of the match with Tony Yoka and deserved the gold medal. But the day I didn’t make that decision and to the time I accepted it.
âI scanned the McLaren report and read that there was corruption within AIBA and that corruption affected the outcome of my gold medal match.
âIf corruption has taken place, and it appears to be, I am confident that the AIBA and the IOC will ensure that the integrity of the sport is respected and award me the gold medal.
âI will review the report in detail with my legal team and await the decision of the AIBA and the IOC. Corruption should never succeed.
Current AIBA President Umar Kremlev said of the report: âI am determined to ensure that boxers receive a fair fight. This determination is demonstrated by AIBA’s clear commitment to uncover the truth and act upon it.
“We must now carefully review the report and see what steps are needed to ensure justice. What is important is that we make sure that the mechanisms are in place to show that the results are above suspicion. “
We really understand your frustration. AIBA’s new leadership is working hard to right the wrongs of the past. We commissioned this report as a way to unearth corruption in previous eras. We do everything we can to correct the mistakes made. https://t.co/98glOQRQkC
– AIBA (@AIBA_Boxing) September 30, 2021
AIBA has been suspended and barred from hosting the boxing competition in Tokyo 2020 after a review by an International Olympic Committee (IOC) working group of the sport’s governance, management, refereeing and judging .
Instead, the IOC directly supervised the competition in Japan.
The AIBA has been warned that boxing’s place at the 2024 Games in Paris is in jeopardy unless the shortcomings identified in the review are corrected.