US Olympic swimmers stopped from going home – boxing officials sent packing

US Olympic swimmers stopped from going home – boxing officials sent packing

US Olympic swimmers

U.S. Olympic swimmers Gunnar Bentz, left, and Jack Conger leave the police station

Brazilian police stopped two U.S. Olympic swimmers from boarding a flight home yesterday Wednesday to question them about how they and two team mates were robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro at the weekend, after a judge raised doubts over their accounts.

A third swimmer, James Feigen, is in contact with Brazilian authorities and plans to make further statements to them today, said a spokesman for the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC).

Federal police also want to question U.S. gold medalist swimmer Ryan Lochte, one of swimming’s most decorated Olympians, but he had already flown home to the United States on Monday, a police spokesman said.

The four swimmers have said they were robbed by gunmen while returning to the Athletes’ Village in a taxi in the early hours of Sunday after a party – an incident that stoked fears for the safety of athletes and visitors at South America’s first Games.

Meanwhile several referees and judges have been removed from the Olympic boxing competition after officials reviewed their decisions, fueling suspicion of dubious results in some matches at the Rio Games.

A spokesman for the federation that governs the boxing tournament said yesterday that the names of the referees and judges who were dismissed, and the matches that were tainted, would not be released because he did not want to “besmirch their families.”

US Olympic swimmers 2

Ryan Lochte was reportedly robbed in Rio

The international federation, known as AIBA, said in a statement that the committee that reviews officiating had assessed all 239 bouts at the Rio Games through Tuesday and had “determined that less than a handful of the decisions were not at the level expected.

The federation statement also said that “the concerned referees and judges will no longer officiate at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.”

The move came a day after Michael Conlan, an Irish bantamweight, accused the federation of corruption and suggested that Russian boxing officials had bribed judges. Conlan’s accusations came in an expletive-filled tirade after he lost his quarterfinal to Vladimir Nikitin of Russia. Nikitin won a unanimous decision, but the public response to the verdict suggested that many observers believed Conlan should have won.

Coaches at the boxing venue yesterday Wednesday said that the scoring system left a lot of room for interpretation and that the judges, although well trained, were not infallible. They also expressed relief that the issue of inadequate judging was being addressed, although they dismissed the accusations of corruption.
West Indies team manager, Joel Garner, has queried the work ethic of regional players and says the quality of cricket at domestic level was being reflected at the international level in the performances of the West Indies team.

In a candid interview here ahead Thursday’s start of the final Test against India, the legendary former fast bowler said that key to any West Indies resurgence in world cricket would be the commitment of players to their own development which would require a culture change.

Garner, also a West Indies Cricket Board director, said this area was one that needed to be addressed urgently and was of significantly more importance than a few good results at international level.