Judge (C) announces Tony Yoka (R) of France as the winner of men's super heavy boxing final at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, August 21, 2016. /VCG Photo
All 36 referees and judges that attended the boxing competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are banned from participating in the boxing events in the 2020 Summer Olympic in Tokyo, announced an International Olympic Committee task force.
Instead, referees and judges for Tokyo 2020 will be selected from a pool of International Boxing Association (AIBA) certified officials to ensure that these people meet the criteria and know what they are doing.
"The main objective of the IOC boxing task force is to ensure the completion of the mission of delivering events, while putting the boxers first, and with transparent and credible sporting results and fair play," said Morinari Watanabe, leader of the boxing task force.
China's Lyu Bin fights Peter Mungai Warui of Kenya in men's light fly boxing bout at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, August 8, 2016. /VCG Photo
Boxing almost became a joke in Rio 2016 as referees and judges kept making ridiculous mistakes. Chinese light-flyweight boxer Lyu bin accused them of "stealing" his dream; Irish bantamweight Michael Conlan said he was "robbed." These two joined Kazakh heavyweight boxer, Vassiliy Levit, in similar claims.
All 36 officials were suspended after Rio 2016 and several were sent home before the Olympics was over. However, an investigation by the AIBA in 2017 found no proof of officials manipulating the competition. As it was recommended that all referees and judges be reintegrated on a "case-by-case basis," the IOC ruled them disqualified for Tokyo 2020 by launching new selection criteria.
The IOC boxing task force wanted to increase "clarity, transparency and integrity" to the sport, and ruling out the Rio 2016 officials was just the beginning.