After Abdulhamidov was awarded the 22-17 victory over Shimizu, the uproar began. Fans rained boos from the stands, and Japanese officials immediately lodged a protest. It was, by any account, the biggest competitive disgrace of the Olympics so far. And there’s reason to ask if this was more than the usual Olympic boxing incompetence, but rather something more sinister.
Last September, BBC Newsnight presented evidence that Azerbaijan had paid millions of dollars in an international boxing organization, in return for a guarantee that two Azerbaijanis would win gold medals at these London Olympics. They found documents showing a $9 million bank transfer, funneled through Switzerland, to a boxing organization owned by AIBA, which oversees Olympic boxing. Whistleblowers reported that the money came from an Azerbaijan government minister, and were strictly a cash-for-medals exchange.