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Boxing scandal

August 16, 2012

THE sport of amateur boxing has promised for more than two decades to clean itself up, and has failed. The disgraceful injustice of Sunday morning’s Olympic final involving Thai boxer Kaew Pongprayoon was only the latest most spectacular demonstration of that failure. The head of the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA)… wants to sue the British Broadcasting Corporation for defamation for its reports on rigged Olympic fights. The time and efforts of Wu Ching-Kuo would be better spent on a corruption crackdown.… In Olympics after Olympics, events which require human judging have come under fierce criticism. But none comes close to the obvious incompetence and widely suspected corruption of Mr Wu’s AIBA.

The problem at the 2012 London Olympics was the decision that took the gold medal from Kaew, the winner of the light flyweight championship bout. Against the ‘golden boy’ of Chinese boxing, Zou Shiming, the Thai apparently never had a chance. Perhaps the judges were incompetent and saw a different fight from the rest of us.… But Kaew’s bout was not the only one with such a strange result. Zou’s previous bout against Paddy Barnes of Ireland was an unpopular decision.… It is true the Thai Olympic team officials were missing in action when they were truly needed. A proper appeal at the end of the unjust Kaew fight could have turned around the decision. Human judges always can be challenged. The US gymnastics team changed a disappointing fourth place finish into a medal with a proper, timely appeal. But Thai officials seemed witless about the rules, which require the filing of a protest within five minutes of the decision.… But the real fault lies with amateur boxing and the men who run it … If the AIBA cannot clean up its own house … it is time for government-backed regulators to move in….—(Aug 14)