Olympic Boxing Referee Ejected for Comically One-Sided Rulings

More

Turkmenistan's ref would not be the first official from his country accused of corruption.

olympic boxing.jpg
Turkmen ref Ishanguly Meretnyyazov declares Azerbaijan's boxer the winner in a since-overturned decision. (Reuters)

We are shocked, shocked that Turkmenistan finds itself embroiled in an international corruption scandal.

On August 2, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) announced that Turkmen referee Ishanguly Meretnyyazov had been banished from the London Olympic Games after he presided over a bout in which Azerbaijani boxer Magomed Abdulhamidov was knocked down six - yes, that's not a typo - six times in one round, yet somehow managed to walk away with a decision on points.

Thankfully, justice was done, and the outcome of the bout was overturned on appeal, giving Japanese bantamweight Satoshi Shimizu the victory over Abdulhamidov. According to international amateur boxing rules, three knock-downs in one round should prompt the referee to stop the fight.

The one-sidedness of the refereeing in the bout is raising questions in boxing circles of whether money was involved. The British Broadcasting Corp. in late 2011 aired a report about a suspicious payment made by Azerbaijani officials. The payment could be construed as an apparent bribe attempt designed to promote the interests of Azerbaijani boxers at the Olympics.

Funnily enough, the same day it announced that Meretnyyazov had been sent home, the AIBA also said it had expelled an Azerbaijani technical official, Aghajan Abiyev. The association did not elaborate on the move.

That a Turkmen ref might be on the take would be in keeping with Turkmenistan's reputation as one of the most corrupt places on earth.

It's not surprising that Turkmen media outlets have ignored the incident. Readers might recall that earlier this year, state media went dark on coverage of the national under-21 football team when it finished last in a CIS tournament.

Regardless of the media omerta, it's easy to guess what President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov's going to do: he'll probably round up the usual suspects.

This article originally appeared at EurasiaNet.org, an Atlantic partner site.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Justin Burke is EurasiaNet.org's Managing Editor.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

How have stories changed in the age of social media? The minds behind House of Cards, This American Life, and The Moth discuss.


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Global

Just In