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Goodwill Boxing Officials Suspended

August 1, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ Four boxing officials accused of bias against Russian boxers were suspended from the Goodwill Games Friday.

AIBA, the international amateur boxing federation, said it took the action after evaluating the Russian Boxing Federation’s protest ``that judgments made by the officials were biased and led to the elimination of their boxers.″

``Upon review of the judgments, it was decided by the AIBA international jury that suspensions of certain officials were warranted,″ said Arthur Tunstall, the federation’s technical delegate to the games. ``It is an unfortunate incident, but we hope the AIBA action puts to rest any remaining questions or concerns.″

Suspended for the rest of the games were referee/judges Macario Sosa of Guatemala and Alfredo Toledo of Cuba; referee Per-Olaf Larsson of Sweden; and judge Dieter Mika of Germany.

Tunstall said that, along with the protest, the Russians had withdrawn the rest of their boxers from the tournament, which reached the medal round Friday night. But that action was reversed after AIBA announced the suspensions, and the four Russian boxers left in the field would be allowed to compete, he said.

The bouts involved in the protest were not identified, but Russia’s boxers had two tough nights in the semifinals. Only four of 14 Russian semifinalists advanced, and just one of them _ featherweight Andrei Kozlovsky’s 3-2 win over Michael Evans of the United States _ won a close decision.

The losses included a tiebreak given to American lightweight Jacob Hudson over Aleksandr Leonov and a 12-11 decision to U.S. light welterweight Ebo Elder over Dmitri Pavluchenkov.

Goodwill Games officials said the rest of the tournament would take place as scheduled, despite the officiating pool being reduced to nine referee/judges for the last 12 bouts.

``We regret that such action was necessary during this exciting boxing competition,″ Goodwill Games president Mike Plant said. ``This decision is the most appropriate for all parties concerned, and we respect the action taken.″

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