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IOC ask for bribe evidence from BBC
Claims made against Azerbaijan officials
Posted Sep 27, 2011 by Chris White
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Following a recent documentary on the BBC’s ‘Newsnight’ programme in which claims were made that Azerbaijan boxing officials had made secret payments to World Series Boxing to ensure their nation of gold medals in 2012, the President of the IOC has asked the broadcaster for their evidence.
Jacques Rogge has called on the British broadcasters to reveal everything they have that gave weight to their claims, stating that the IOC “takes every allegation seriously.”
The programme claims that officials in Azerbaijan have tried to influence decisions to guarantee their nation two gold medals at the London 2012 games by offering around £5.8million ($9million). The governing body for Olympic boxing, the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) deny the claims, and they own World Series Boxing – a franchised league professional boxing – the alleged beneficiaries of the payments.
Since the allegations were made, AIBA President Wu Ching-Kuo threw away the comments as “totally untrue and ludicrous,” but did add that he would be making his own enquiries.
It does seem at first hearing that everybody associated with the sport is throwing the comments out, claiming that they are being made by people with axes to grind, trying to tarnish the sport which has done so much to move away from issues involving drugs and bribery.
Also, it does seem at first that if a nation was to try and bribe officials, that they might have quite a job, particularly in the Olympics. An automated process on a computer chooses judges, and there are five of them, so simply putting a brown envelope full of money through one person’s door might not do the trick.
It remains to be seen what action will be taken, but it seems that the BBC might have quite a few questions to answer before any action is taken against any Azerbaijan officials or boxers.