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 that he had been robbed of a rightful win, and vowing never to fight again in any AIBA-organised competition, the reigning world champion also accused Russia of influencing the 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 many 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.
“They are corrupt. I will never box an AIBA competition again. Not APB, not WSB, not world championships or Olympic Games. Corruption runs deep.”
An AIBA spokesman said Conlan was a world 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.”
Russian officials in Rio declined to comment on the allegations.
Dozens of Russian athletes, including virtually the entire track and field team, were suspended as part of sanctions against the country for a systematic state-backed doping programme that included the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.