Rio 2016 boxing technical official named to role at Tokyo 2020 event


An American who served as a technical official in the corrupted boxing tournament at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro has been cleared for a position in Tokyo 2020 by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) group hosting the competition .

The IOC Boxing Working Group (BTF) has confirmed that Angel Villarreal will be an assistant technical delegate to the delayed Olympics, which are due to open here next Friday (July 23).

The 36 referees and judges used for the boxing tournament in Rio 2016 have been suspended by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) for corruption issues and are not allowed to officiate at Tokyo 2020.

The summary of the official BTF boxing technical selection process, first published in November 2019, states: to be considered in the selection process for Technical Delegates, International Technical Officials and Referees and Judges. “

According to the Rio 2016 official results book, Villarreal was an international technical official at the Games in the Brazilian city.

He was neither a referee nor a judge at Rio 2016 and there is no indication that Villarreal was involved in any wrongdoing.

The appointment, however, of any official involved in this controversial tournament risks raising eyebrows.

The 36 referees and judges used for the boxing tournament in Rio 2016 have been suspended by AIBA for corruption issues and are not allowed to officiate at Tokyo 2020 © Getty Images
The 36 referees and judges used for the boxing tournament in Rio 2016 have been suspended by AIBA for corruption issues and are not allowed to officiate at Tokyo 2020 © Getty Images

The IOC’s BTF said inside the games he had “gone to great lengths to ensure that all technical officials involved in the Road to Tokyo Olympic qualifying events, as well as the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, were fully vetted.”

inside the games understands that the BTF – which hosts the boxing tournament in Tokyo 2020 following the suspension of AIBA by the IOC and deprived of any sport involvement at the Games, due to concerns about refereeing and judging, governance and finance – had claimed that Villarreal was a “refereeing and judge coordinator” at Rio 2016.

A new investigation into the Rio 2016 boxing competition has been launched by Canada’s Richard McLaren, the man whose Russian forensic doping examination led the country to be banned from competing under his own flag during major events.

The suspension of the 36 referees and judges came after the AIBA launched an investigation into allegations of match-fixing.

It was claimed that an internal AIBA probe revealed that there had been “strong suspicions surrounding [former executive director] Karim Bouzidi and the five-star referees and judges “.

The AIBA investigation, which was never published, would not have accused Bouzidi of manipulating the tournament for lack of evidence.

However, he would have “discovered evidence that the executive director used his authority to obtain changes of referees and judges in certain fights.”

A report by the IOC’s AIBA investigative committee, which led to the suspension of its Olympic recognition, detailed the judging issues in boxing tournaments in Athens in 2004.

McLaren is also investigating allegations of fight-rigging at this year’s Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai.


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