Boxing: Irish bantamweight blasts 'corrupt' AIBA

Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:20pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Irish bantamweight Michael Conlan blasted Olympic boxing body AIBA as 'corrupt' on Tuesday in an expletive-laden rant at the judging after losing to Russia's Vladimir Nikitin in the quarter-finals.

Saying he had been robbed of a rightful win, and vowing never to fight again in any AIBA-organized competition, the world champion also accused Russia of influencing judges.

"AIBA are just corrupt. They've robbed me of my Olympic dream," he told reporters after losing on points in a unanimous decision that, to some observers, seemed at odds with what they had witnessed.

"Obviously Russia can't dope this time so they are obviously paying the judges a lot more," he added.

"I will never box an AIBA competition again. Not APB, not WSB, not world championships or Olympic Games. Corruption runs deep... I just think they are rotten to the core."

An AIBA spokesman said Conlan was a champion who came to Rio with high expectations and was understandably disappointed to have lost.

"Afterwards, it's his personal judgement," he said. "All I can say is that AIBA is striving for a fair, level playing field.

"The idea is not to benefit one country towards another, we represent 200 national federations. These statements are groundless but he's free to have his opinion."   Continued...

Aug 16, 2016; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Vladimir Nikitin (RUS, blue) reacts after defeating Michael John Conlan (IRL, red) in a men's bantamweight quarterfinal bout at Riocentro - Pavilion 6 during the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports