More Olympic Corruption?

Seems like it was just yesterday that I was talking about match-fixing in Badminton and Soccer at the Olympics.  For Badminton, the World Badminton Federation has cracked down hard on those who lost matches on purpose, and the Chinese coach is taking the majority of the blame for the two athletes from his country which threw a game, saying that they did so under his orders.  One of those athletes, went ahead and announced her retirement from Badminton on Weibo (the Chinese version of twitter).

Japan soccer, as noted yesterday, will not face any sanctions for purposely not trying to score.

While I was writing about corruption yesterday, there was some more suspicious action going on in London.  This time in Olympic boxing where Japan’s Satoshi Shimizu went into the third and final round of his boxing match against Azerbaijan’s Magomed Abdulhamidov down several points.  Shimizu came out like a raging bull and proceeded to knockdown his opponent six times in the round.  This is where things became fishy, as the referee Ishanguly Meretnyyazov refused to award an eight-count for any of the knockdowns.  The match ended with Shimizu looking happy, thinking he would win on decision, and yet when the winner was announced, Abdulhamidov was named the winner, and the crowd began to boo and jeer.

Japan immediately filed a protest, and after careful consideration it was ruled that Shimizu was indeed the winner of the match, and was given his place back in the Olympics, additionally the referee in charge of the match was sent home.  The focus on this fight grew even more as the BBC noted back in 2011 that Azerbaijan had made a payment of $9 million dollars to World Series Boxing (WSB), which some said were to buy two gold medals for the country in the 2012 Olympics.  From the BBC:

The insiders said Mr Khodabakhsh told them that a secret deal had been done to secure funding from Azerbaijan in return for manipulation of the Olympic boxing tournament to guarantee gold medals for Azerbaijani fighters.

One insider told Newsnight: “Ivan boasted to a few of us that there was no need to worry about World Series Boxing having the coin to pay its bills. As long as the Azeris got their medals, WSB would have the cash.”

So now boxing may be the next big focus in the match-fixing issues that seem to be growing at the Olympics.

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