Olympic Boxing Judges Under Fire For Alleged Match-Fixing

Questions about the scoring in the Olympic men’s boxing have been raised after a series of disputed results.

Eyebrows were first raised last Wednesday when Azerbaijan fought Japan. The Azeri bantamweight Magomed Abdulhamidov won the match despite going down six times in the final round. After an appeal by Japan the decision was overturned. Days later another Azeri, Teymur Mammadov, entered the ring and was awarded a very narrow victory against a Belarusian fighter Siarhei Karneyeu. The crowd and commentators were astounded when he won. Belarus appealed but this time it was not upheld.

Last year a Newsnight investigation got hold of a confidential investment agreement between someone from Azerbaijan and World Series Boxing, which is run by AIBA, who also run Olympic Boxing. The investor from Azerbaijan paid $9m to fund an almost bankrupt tournament called the World Series Boxing (WSB). The insiders said Ivan Khodabakhsh, the Chief Operating Officer of WSB, told them that a secret deal had been done in return for two gold medals. But Mr Khodabakhsh told Newsnight that claims that there was any deal with Azerbaijan were “an absolute lie”.


The president of the International Boxing Association, Ching-Ko- Wu who was ringside with David Cameron on Wednesday, said: ”The allegation that AIBA took a $10m bribe from Azerbaijan in exchange for two gold medals at the Olympic Games in London is untrue… There is only one way to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games and that is to train hard and fight well.”

Boxing has had its fair share of scandals and accusations of match fixing. Some people would like to see even more transparency in the scoring. Jim Neilly, BBC commentator who has been ringside at all the fights, said scoring has always been subjective and no scoring system was fool proof. It costs $500 every time an appeal is lodged and he said many countries such as Cuba cannot pay to contest the decisions.

Do you think there is a grain of truth in these match-fixing allegations in Olympic boxing? Share your opinions with us and you be the judge!

Source: BBC News

Image: Yahoo! Sport

Facebook IPO Small Investors: Is The Stock Market Rigged?

Lots of people believe the stock market is a playground for well-connected insiders. This is an old complaint…but it is one that seems to hang particularly thick in the air these days. The Facebook IPO only confirmed people’s suspicions that the game is unfair.

Here was the biggest IPO in the history of US markets. And we learn that big banks and hedge funds got the early dope that Wall Street analysts dropped their estimates for Facebook’s earnings only days before the IPO. The small investors, who were not in the know, were led like pigs to slaughter.  Facebook’s stock is down 29% since it opened at $42.05 per share on May 18. This grim result is causing a lot of howling about the IPO process and those “damn Wall Street banks.” Of course, you could take the view that investors who fool around with hyped IPOs get what they deserve. My sympathies lean in that direction. If you play with fire, you might get burned.


In short, Facebook is another black eye for a market that already has a lot of black eyes. In the last dozen years, we’ve suffered through two 50% drops from peak to trough, plus a long list of scandals and shenanigans. Facebook just added to the feelings of disgust and revulsion people already felt toward the stock market.

People remember the headline-grabbing stories about certain stocks that “blew up.” But meanwhile, there are many stocks that just keep plodding along. There are many, many companies with good managers and decent businesses that give a fair shake to their owners. On a portfolio basis, such stocks can make the little guy a lot of money over time. But you have to know where to fish. IPOs, such Facebook’s, are not an ideal fishing hole.

Nothing works 100% of the time, of course. But it’s like poker. If you start with aces, you have the odds in your favor. So is the market rigged? Yes. But it’s not always rigged against you.

Do you think the Facebook IPO is just another big conspiracy in the stock market? Tell us what you think of this conspiracy theory!

Source: Business Insider

Image: Meme Burn