Remember Michael Conlan said amateur boxing 'stinks'? He may have had a point 4 years ago

Remember Michael Conlan said amateur boxing 'stinks'? He may have had a point

"Amateur boxing stinks from the core right to the top."

The furious words of Michael Conlan that were heard around the world after his controversial defeat to Vladimir Nikitin at the Rio Olympics.


Some, including the AIBA, may have dismissed these comments as the reaction of a sore loser, but it seems the new recruit to the Top Rank pro ranks had a point.

At least according to the accountancy firm hired by the AIBA to investigate a $10million loan received by the governing body from an Azerbaijani company.

The New York Times are reporting that Price Waterhouse Coopers have suggested the AIBA hire a criminal lawyer, such is the extent of the financial irregularities they discovered.

Rio 2016 Olympic Games Day 11, Riocentro Pavilion, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 16/8/2016 Men's Bantamweight 56kg Quarter-Final Michael Conlan (Red) vs Vladimir Nikitin (Blue) Ireland's Michael Conlan in action against Vladimir Nikitin of Russia Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

If 'The Grey Lady', a global auditing firm and Conlan are telling you there are problems, it may be time to listen.

The irregularities centre around a loan paid to the AIBA in 2010 to help launch the World Series of Boxing in the United States. PWC cannot account for $4.5m of that loan and believe the Switzerland-based federation's failure to account for their losses correctly may be in contravention of Swiss law.

“It is recommended that legal counsel be sought by AIBA as the actions, and nonactions, of some of the directors may contravene [Swiss law],” reads the report seen by the New York Times.


The report was commissioned in 2015 at the behest of the International Olympic Council after the AIBA's embattled president Ching-kuo Wu fired his deputy, Ho Kim.

Rio 2016 Olympic Games Day 10, Riocentro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 15/8/2016 Women's Lightweight 60kg Quarter-Final Katie Taylor (Red) vs Mira Potkonen (Blue) Ireland's Katie Taylor dejected after losing her fight Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Subsequently all 36 referees and judges at the Rio Games were suspended following a slew of questionable calls surrounding boxers, including Conlan.

Since the AIBA received the loan from Benkons MMC, Azerbaijan have enjoyed an upturn in their boxing results - winning nine medals at World Championships since 2010.

One former AIBA vice president, Rudela Obreja, said the loan could be described as a bribe.


“We boxing people know that Azerbaijan was very interested in boxing medals,” he wrote in an email to The New York Times.

The AIBA dismissed such suggestions as “misplaced” as an internal review had “found no evidence of wrongdoing whatsoever”.

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