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Wednesday, 31 July, 2002, 17:40 GMT 18:40 UK

Banned judge demands apology

By John Haughey
BBC Sport Online in Manchester

The Ugandan boxing judge suspended at the Commonwealth Games has demanded an apology from the president of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA).

AIBA president Anwar Chowdhry said on Tuesday that he had suspended Ugandan David Agong for what was described as "making political decisions" during a lightweight contest between Scotland's Kevin Anderson and Asghar Ali Shah of Pakistan.

Anderson won the fight 29-18 against Chowdhry's fellow countryman Shah.

However, Agong angrily rejected Chowdhry's claims on Wednesday.

"Dr Chowdhry owes me an apology and must withdraw his statement from the media," said the judge.

"I've nothing against Pakistan and I've never been to Scotland"
Ugandan judge David Agong

"If he does not apologise, I will consider taking legal action.

"I am a vice-president of the African Amateur Boxing Federation but my reputation throughout Africa has been destroyed by this story.

"Back home newspapers were running big stories today saying that I had been involved in a scandal.

"I don't know why Mr Chowdhry has said such terrible things about me.

"How can he accuse me of making political decisions?" added Agong.

"Crazy situation"

"I've nothing against Pakistan and I've never been to Scotland".

Agong claimed that he had received support from the other judges involved in the competition, including Pakistani officials.

"The judges have told me that they will be asking Mr Chowdhry to apologise to me when he meets with all the officials on Thursday".

Agong added that he had received no written notification of his indefinite ban.

"It's a crazy situation. I am an official grade A referee and have been involved in the sport for more than 40 years.

"Yet now I have been reduced to the role of a spectator," said the Ugandan.

"According to the evidence there is no political decision"
David Agong

Agong said that he had been one of four judges to give the verdict to Anderson.

"The final individual scores were: Uganda 39-25, Canada 29-25, New Zealand 39-27, England 30-23 and Zimbabwe who gave the fight to the Pakistani by 32-27.

"According to the evidence at hand, there is no political decision.

"I am not aware of any rivalry between Ugandan and the two countries involved in this bout."

Amateur boxing's most powerful figure also suspended a referee in Tuesday's crackdown on alleged poor officiating at the Commonwealth Games.

In addition, Chowdhry revealed that he had warned nine judges and demanded improvements in their officiating.

Agong was suspended indefinitely while Ghanian referee Stephen Kofi Antwi was handed a two-day ban.

Anderson won the bout 29-18.

"Boxing has been at risk as an Olympic sport because of problems we have with judging"
AIBA president Anwar Chowdhry

Ghanian referee Stephen Kofi Antwi was given a two-day ban for poor performances but was allowed to officiate as a judge at the Games.

"We have a spy camera which means we can see every blow and respond to how the judge responds," said Chowdhry on Tuesday.

"In the past, boxing has been at risk as an Olympic sport because of problems we have with judging and we need to ensure that the right decisions are given," he added.

The AIBA president has been a vocal presence around the boxing competitions since they started last week.

At Thursday's draw, he strongly criticised Commonwealth Games organisers for not providing two rings for the competitions.

He also said that the Wythenshawe venue was not big enough for a competition of the Commonwealth Games' stature.


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