August 20, 2016
August 20, 2016
Olympic Games

Action Images/Peter Cziborra

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PREVIOUSLY we observed that none of AIBA’s seven five-star referees and judges had been involved in a contest at the Olympic Games since it emerged that the organisation had stood down an undisclosed number of officials for the remainder of Rio 2016. Again on Friday none of the five-star judges appeared at the competition venue.

That in itself is staggering in the circumstances, with outcry over some of the results and AIBA forced to defend itself from allegations of corruption, as well as having to reassign its executive director in the interests of “a level playing field and a fair and transparent sport”. The five-star judges are supposed to be the most experienced, highly trained officials who guide the others. Their absence points to a serious problem.

But judges from two of the most controversial bouts at this tournament are still working at the Olympic Games. The five-star referee and judges from the Evgeny Tishchneko-Vassiliy Levit and Vladimir Nikitin-Michael Conlan bouts have not participated further in recent days but scoring judges from those two bouts have. For instance Colombia’s Armando Carbonell Alvarado, who scored Tishchenko the winner over Levit, including bafflingly giving the Russian the last round, is still officiating at these Olympics. In fact he judged Savannah Marshall’s quarter-final against Nouchka Fontijn, another contest where I happen to think the judges got it wrong. He scored every round to Fontijn.

Two scoring judges from Conlan’s controversial defeat, Sri Lanka’s Udeni Talik Bandara Kiridena and Brazil’s Jones Kennedy Silva Do Rosario, who both had the Russian winning that contest, have still been officiating in the Olympic boxing tournament as well.

Some drastic moves have been made to address the judging issues in Olympic boxing. But it seems further steps still need to be taken.