Olympics: BBC sued over 'cash for medals' allegations

Posted at 08/11/12 10:33 PM

LONDON - With the men's Olympic boxing medals to be decided this weekend, the sports' governing body announced Saturday it is sueing the BBC over repeated allegations of cash for medals.

The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has begun legal action after the broadcaster repeated on Friday night that boxing medals could be bought at London 2012.

Azerbaijani boxers, super heavyweight Magomedrasul Medzhidov and heavyweight Teymur Mammadov both lost their semi-finals on Friday, leaving them with bronze medals.

No other Azerbaijani boxers are left in the competition.

On Friday, the BBC repeated the allegation first made in a Newsnight documentary last September that around $10m had been paid from Azerbaijan to boxing authorities in return for two golds.

Both the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and AIBA investigated the BBC's original claims, failing to find any wrongdoing and now the governing body are hitting back.

"In September last year the BBC alleged that AIBA took a $10 million bribe from Azerbaijan in exchange for two gold medals at the Olympic Games in London," said AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu in a statement.

"Both AIBA and the IOC investigated the claim and could find no evidence to support it.

"The BBC re-broadcast the allegation last night (in a website report), on the eve of the semi-finals, having been told it is untrue.

"Therefore I have today instructed the London libel firm PSB Law to begin legal action against the BBC.

"I have worked extremely hard over the past six years to clean up Olympic boxing after years of corruption scandals under the previous administration and I am extremely disappointed and frustrated by the BBC."

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