Investigators fear 11 boxing matches have been recorded during the 2016 Olympics – including the defeat of GB fighter Joe Joyce in his gold medal fight – with six-figure sums changing hands… and claiming the “seeds are sown’ in London 2012
- The sport’s top researcher, Professor Richard McLaren, has found evidence of widespread corruption within Olympic boxing including Rio
- The McLaren team was called in when an internal investigation by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) raised concerns after years of allegations
- Investigators have identified 11 ‘suspicious’ attacks but will need to do more work before then to say they are definitely rigged
- However, they concluded that “manipulation sometimes involved significant six-figure sums” and was sometimes done to “thank” Olympic committees
Investigators fear 11 boxing matches at the Rio Olympics have been fixed, including GB boxer Joe Joyce’s controversial defeat to France’s Tony Yoka in a gold medal fight.
An investigation by the sport’s top researcher, Professor Richard McLaren, has uncovered evidence of widespread corruption and manipulation in Olympic boxing dating back to the turn of the century.
His report raises the prospect that fighting in London 2012 may also have been manipulated.
McLaren said he concluded that six-figure sums changed hands to make the decision in some periods, while others were set in favor of national associations or Olympic Committees.
British fighter Joe Joyce was denied gold at Rio 2016 after he appeared to knock out Frenchman Tony Yoka in the super heavyweight final.
However, at the end of the fight, Yoka’s arm was raised instead, much to the amazement of the boxing world.
That attack is one of those that investigators have identified as suspicious, though they acknowledge there may be more that need further investigation as additional information becomes available.
Joe Joyce won a silver medal at the Rio Olympics after a controversial loss in the final
The researcher — whose revelations about Russia’s state-sponsored doping program saw the country being banned from competition — said more work was needed to say for sure which fights had been rigged.
“A comprehensive study of the fighting in Rio points to about nine attacks that were suspicious in addition to the two mentioned in the media at the time,” McLaren said in its report.
“It may be necessary to further investigate those attacks for which no definitive conclusion can be drawn at this time. The problem with completing that analysis is due to the delayed receipt of five score sheets. Therefore, there may also be other attacks that are suspicious.’
The McLaren team was called in when an internal investigation by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) found a ‘strong suspicion’ of manipulation surrounding a number of attacks in Rio.
Tony Yoka (left) got the win, but the result will be destroyed after a fix probe
For years there have been rumors and allegations of corruption in Olympic boxing and McLaren’s job has been to investigate the qualifiers for the Rio Olympics and the blue ribbon event itself.
In its report McLaren states: ‘Bouts were manipulated for money, the alleged benefit of AIBA, or to thank national federations and their Olympic committees, and on occasion, competition hosts for their financial and political support.
“The investigation to date has concluded that such manipulation sometimes involves significant six-figure sums. The evidence the MIIT found is considered the tip of the iceberg.’
The investigative team said the corruption system used in Rio was tightened during the qualifying events, but the manipulation goes back many years, including during the London Games in 2012.
“In Rio, there was a system for manipulating attacks by officials. The seeds of this were sown years before the start of at least the twenty-first century Olympics through the events around 2011 (to be discussed in the next phase) and London 2012.’