Boxers Sanctioned for Rio Olympic Betting

(ATR) Three Olympic boxers are sanctioned by the IOC for placing illegal bets on matches at the Rio 2016 Games.

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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 08:  Antony Fowler of Great Britain (blue) fights Zhanibek Alimkhanuly of Kazakhstan (red) in their Mens 91kg Heavyweight bout on Day 3 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Riocentro - Pavilion 6 on August 8, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 08: Antony Fowler of Great Britain (blue) fights Zhanibek Alimkhanuly of Kazakhstan (red) in their Mens 91kg Heavyweight bout on Day 3 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Riocentro - Pavilion 6 on August 8, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

(ATR) Three Olympic boxers are sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee for placing illegal bets on matches at the Rio 2016 Games.

Michael Conlan and Steve Donnelly of Ireland as well as Antony Fowler of Great Britain are sanctioned by the IOC Disciplinary Commission for infractions of the Rio 2016 Rules on the Prevention and Manipulation of Competitions.

As there was no malicious intent to manipulate matches, the three fighters have been issued severe reprimands and obliged to follow and contribute to various integrity educational programs by the IOC, AIBA and their national associations.

Participants are not permitted to bet on Olympic events and are obligated to report any approach or suspicion of manipulation.

However, despite the transgressions at the Games, it appears that the three sanctioned fighters are merely receiving a slap on the wrist by the IOC.

The IOC Disciplinary Commission, comprised in this particular case by chairman Denis Oswald, Angela Ruggiero and Karl Stoss, ruled that the athletesmust demonstrate that they have adequately followed the educational programs as outlined by the IOC to have their accreditations validated for Tokyo 2020.

Conlan and Donnelly have since turned professional and are not impacted by the sanctions.

Conlan, 24, already sparked controversy at the Games as he directed an obscene gesture at Olympic judges after he lost his bantamweight quarterfinal on points, a decision that many boxing experts questioned.

The London 2012 bronze medalist placed bets on boxing contests on Aug. 8 and 9 which were both in his weight division. Conlan lost both bets.

Fowler, 25, lost a unanimous decision in his opening welterweight bout, while Donnelly, 27, was eliminated following a quarter-final loss in the same weight category by a split decision.

Fowler was punished for betting on a number of fights. The IOC’s Integrity Betting Intelligence System (Ibis) identified that on at least one occasion he bet on an event in which a British boxer took part, although he did not bet on his own bout.

Donnelly bet on himself to lose the contest against Tuvshinbat Byamba of Mongolia, a fight in which he rallied to win. His explanation to the IOC was that he had "bet without intending to cheat by losing his match to win his bets, rather, winning the bets would be some compensation in the event he lost his match".

The IOC Disciplinary Commission also sanctioned the Olympic Council of Ireland and British Olympic Association for not having properly informed its athletes about the content of the rules applicable to them in Rio.

The commission also recommended that the International Boxing Association (AIBA) assure that its competition rules and regulations are compliant with the Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions and educational programs are put in place.

The illegal betting infractions are yet another in a series of incidents and black marks that scarred boxing at the Rio Olympics. Outrage and protest over questionable decisions led to the early departure of six judges.

As a result of the controversy, AIBA convened an emergency board meeting in Rio and re-assigned its executive director, Karim Bouzidi, with immediate effect.

The Olympic Movement Code on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions was approved by the IOC Executive Board in December 2015 and implemented for the Rio Games.

Written by Brian Pinelli

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