LONDON (AFP) – Turkmen boxing referee Ishanguly Meretnyyazov was sent home from the Olympics Thursday after his display in a controversial bout which Japanese bantamweight Satoshi Shimizu won on appeal.

Meretnyyazov was criticised for not stopping Wednesday’s contest in the third round when Shimizu’s exhausted opponent, Magomed Abdulhamidov of Azerbaijan, went to the floor several times.

He was also faulted for giving Abdulhamidov too much time to recover. The Azeri was inexplicably awarded a 22-17 decision by the five judges, which was changed to a third-round stoppage win for Shimizu after an appeal.

Another referee to fall foul of amateur boxing body AIBA was Germany’s Frank Scharmach, who received a five-day suspension from competition.

He had caused consternation among the Iranian team and a large part of the crowd when he disqualified Iranian heavyweight Ali Mazaheri, after giving him three warnings in his bout against Cuban Jose Larduet on Wednesday.

The 30-year-old 2006 Asian Games champion – who was leading 6-4 at the time — was left dumbfounded.

“I’ve never seen anything like it in my life,” he said. “I thought I was going to win the gold medal here and within a minute I have received three warnings and I was out with my dreams shattered.”

An Azerbaijani technical delegate was also sent home with immediate effect for unspecified breaches of AIBA’s code of conduct.

AIBA president Wu Ching-Kuo said any threat to the integrity of the competition would be dealt with ruthlessly.

“I deeply regret that we had to take these decisions,” said the 65-year-old Taiwanese, who has been in the post since 2006.

“However, our main concern has been and will always be the protection of the integrity and fair play of our competitions. I will take all possible steps to reinforce this.”


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