"This is a legal issue": AIBA President warns Michael Conlan faces disciplinary action

Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu discussed the controversy that hit boxing during the Olympics

"This is a legal issue": AIBA President warns Michael Conlan faces disciplinary action

Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

The President of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) has warned Michael Conlan that there will be disciplinary action taken after the Irish boxer slammed the organisation at the Olympics.

Conlan was incensed after his bout against Vladimir Nikitin was awarded to the Russian in a decision that baffled the Irish fighter.

"You saw the Russian's reaction after," said Conlan, "He didn't believe he won. I didn't believe he won. The crowd didn't believe he won. I don't even think his corner believed he won." 

Declaring that Olympic boxing was dead, he added that: "It stinks. I believe the whole system of amateur boxing at the minute is - Olympic boxing especially - is stinking. I think the IOC need to have a look at boxing in the Olympics and wonder should it even be in Tokyo."

The injuries Nikitin sustained in the bout against Conlan actually ruled him out of his semi-final fight, and lead to a number of the judges being sent home after the result focused the media spotlight on the organisation.

In an interview with the Associated Press, President of the AIBA, Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu, stated that the decision to send the judges home was not an unprecedented one, as they normally issue judges with a three day suspension if they feel they have made an error.

"This time, we sent them home. Our policy is zero tolerance. I want perfect. The best," explained Wu.

However, he was adamant that there was no corruption or cheating going on during the competition, and that most of the fights at this year's Games did not have such errors.

"There's no way you can penetrate into the system and try to manipulate or cheat," said Wu. "So far, you can see that the majority of the competition went very well. Some people will accept it. Even some of the losing national federations, or even the ministers of sport sitting with me, will say, 'Although we lost, I think it's a very good judgment.'"

When asked specifically about Michael Conlan's comments and his reaction in the ring after the fight, Wu was very clear that there would be a punishment in the pipeline for the Belfast fighter.

"Conlan, he immediately showed his finger to the referee-judges. The IOC says this is totally unacceptable. You cannot humiliate people. They are officials. He put himself in a difficult position, I can tell you. A lot of disciplinary action will follow. You should show proper behavior. If you are not happy about the result, you cannot humiliate in public our referee-judges.

"That has already drawn a lot of people's attention who want to punish him, so we are going to have a disciplinary commission for the case [...] Judges have no intentions. Why do (you think) they hate your country? The judges, why do they want it in favor of this (country) over the other one? There's no reason."

Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

"We always have many bad losers, and once they lose, they're attacking without any reason, no evidence," added Wu. "This is a legal issue. We are bringing all the cases, because without any evidence, accusing an organization of corruption is a very serious allegation. We consult with lawyers. If you don't have evidence, why are you saying the organization is corrupted?"

Hitting out at the allegations of corruption, Wu said: "please give me the evidence. I have no mercy to those (corrupt) people. I hate manipulation, corruption. [...] Everybody knows I'm only working for sport. I don't have an account, nothing. Even if people wanted to give me money, I have no account. I don't need money. I don't like it."

Although Conlan has called on the IOC to review the position of the sport in the next Olympics, Wu is already looking at how boxing will change again before the next Games, which includes making the amateur sport look more like the professional one.

"Three rounds, we all feel, is too short. Maybe we will extend it for five rounds," said Wu. "It will immediately change the tactics. I can already give you a hint that that is in the reforms. We will have much new thinking. Five rounds, three minutes, five scores all showing from the judges.

"Maybe we will take the (men's) vests off. So that would really make 2020 a very exciting Olympic Games. I think many professionals will want to come."

It doesn't seem that Conlan was too concerned about the words of Dr. Wu however, as he took to Twitter after the men's super heavyweight final to once again criticise the AIBA, believing that Joe Joyce had done enough to win his fight against French boxer Tony Yoka.

Fellow Irish boxer Paddy barnes also hit out at the suggestion of action against Conlan and the comments of Dr. Wu, criticising the AIBA and stating that they have "humiliated" boxing.

Via AP