2012 Summer Olympics: Boxing just keeps digging itself a deeper, sadder hole

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 01: Ali Mazaheri of Iran (L) leaves the ring after the referee's decision of a victory to Jose Gomez Larduet of Cuba during the Men's Heavy (91kg) Boxing on Day 5 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at ExCeL on August 1, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

I am in blood; Stepp'd in so far that, should I wade no more; Returning were as tedious as go o'er.

So goes the mindset, apparently, of the International Boxing Association (AIBA), whose response to the well-publicized nonsense of the last few days was to chug forward with controversy and corruption in its wake. The organization has come under repeated fire for its running of the boxing in the 2012 London Olympics, which has produced decisions so consistently and bafflingly awful that it is almost farcical.

The last time out, we talked about the controversies with the "countback" scores and the bizarre circumstances surrounding Satoshi Shimizu's fight with Magomed Abdulhamidov and Ali Mazaheri's bout with Jose Larduet. The referee in the former was expelled from the games, the latter suspended for five days.

Except, not really. The suspended referee, Frank Scharmach, was a judge not two days later in a fight between India's Krishan Vikas and America's Errol Spence, a flat-out robbery that was later overturned by the AIBA.

And things only got worse from there.

The heavyweight quarterfinals yesterday featured not one, but four controversial scores, two particularly egregious.

Siarhei Karneyeu of Belarus lost a 19-19 bout on countback scores despite his opponent constantly, and with no warning or penalty, holding him, a penalty under AIBA rules. Cuba's Jose Larduet -- whose previous bout was also steeped in controversy -- was screwed 12-10 against Italy's Clemente Russo, whose primary tactic was also hugging.

Both the Cuban and Belarusan squads filed appeals and got shot down. And this is despite their main grievance, unpenalized holding, being the reason Spence's loss to Vikas was overturned.

To cap it all off, both Karneyeu's opponent and Abdulhamidov are from Azerbaijan. Just last year, there were reports that the nation had paid $9 million to AIBA in exchange for two gold medals in London. The allegations were deemed untrue, but it's hard to put aside the notion of corruption after such blatant and inexplicable nonsense.

The Olympics are supposed to be the absolute pinnacle of athletics. If you take home the gold medal, you're the best in the world. For many athletes, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

To see it so atrociously handled is an insult to the athletes, an insult to the countries they're representing, and an insult to the fans who tuned in to see their heroes be all they could be.

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