The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confirmed that scores in boxing events will be displayed after every round in next year's Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to make the system more transparent. The committee also said that the boxing referees and the judges who were involved in the Rio 2016 Games will not be allowed to officiate in Japan next year after they were suspended following a controversial event in Rio.
"No referees or judges involved in the Olympic Games in Rio 2016 will be eligible to participate in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic boxing qualifiers or in the Olympic competition," the IOC said in a statement. All 36 referees and judges from the Rio Games were suspended after International Boxing Association (AIBA) launched an investigation following allegations that the boxing bouts were fixed.
They also announced that the referees and the judges will be selected from the IOC Boxing Task Force that consists of individuals who have been certified by the AIBA. The IOC will select officials from this Task Force for each competition to ensure that the integrity of the sport is maintained at the highest level.
In 2016, the scoring was done with the traditional 10-point system, where each round was scored by the five judges and a computer selected three of their scores to count. The custom of counting punches had also stopped, which led to a lot of protests, as the technically superior boxer was often at the receiving end of the points system. A new scoring system was set in place for the Tokyo 2020 boxing test event held in Tokyo last month, where the judges' scores were updated in real-time, which allowed the officials to see the judges' reactions during each bout.
The judges had been warned before the test event that they could be removed from officiating in the Tokyo Games if their performance was unsatisfactory.
Indians at the receiving end of the scoring system
In 2014, Sarita Devi had refused to accept her bronze medal in the Incheon Asian Games after she felt hard done by the scores. In the semis of the lightweight category, Sarita took on Park Ji Na of South Korea and appeared to have convincingly won in the third round. However, the result went against her. In the World Championship last year, Sarita again suggested an unfair bias against her in the pre-quarters that she lost to Ireland's Kellie Harrington.
This year, Mary Kom was denied a historic seventh gold medal at the World Boxing Championships in Russia after she lost in the semis due to a controversial 1-4 verdict by the judges. “It was horrible what happened after the bout. Everybody who follows boxing, and knows about boxing rules and regulations, know what happened in the fight. If you watch the match, you can see something is not right about the result. I am not happy because I thought I had won," she had said.