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Saturday, 9 September, 2000, 10:58 GMT 11:58 UK
Cameras in place to stop cheating
Roy Jones Jr
Roy Jones Jr was the victim of very bad judging in 1988
Boxing judges during the Sydney Olympics will be watched by "spy cameras" to make sure they do not cheat.

The International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) will hoist cameras above the four sides of the ring to monitor the actions of the five judges.

If any controversy arises from a particular bout, the footage may be reviewed and action could be taken.

AIBA president Anwar Chowdhry said that images of the fighters would also be able to be linked to computerised scoring read-outs.

"If a judge has pressed a scoring button, you can see what the position of the two boxers was," Chowdhry said.

Scoring distance

"How did he press the button? The boxers were maybe not within scoring distance. So we will know exactly whether the judge has done it correctly or not...we will have the proof.

"I think three or four mistakes we can allow but not beyond that.

"If we are convinced this was intentional, he will be told to go home."

Perhaps the worst case of scoring in Olympic Games history was at Seoul in 1988 when American Roy Jones was widely held to have been robbed of gold by judges voting for his outclassed South Korean opponent.

Such was the outcry over the decision that the old scoring system was overhauled and replaced with the current one, where no point is awarded for a hit unless three of the five judges press a scoring button for one particular boxer within a second of each other.

But this system is not without its critics. At the Atlanta Games in 1996, a Tunisian referee was sent home after he was deemed to have made four mistakes on his first day.


And at the last world championships in Houston in 1999, there was uproar when the Cuban team walked out in protest at the judging after Juan Hernandez suffered a shock defeat.

Hernandez was later re-instated as welterweight champion but by then the Cubans had left the arena. Four of the five judges - from Bulgaria, Estonia, Mongolia and Argentina - were suspended for "gross and blatant divergences".

The camera was welcomed by U.S. boxer Brian Viloria, who won the 1999 world light-flyweight title by beating Cuban Olympic champion Maikro Romero.

"I believe it's good, it's watching the officials and it's giving them second thoughts about whether they should cheat or not," he said.

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