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Olympic boxing referees sanctioned by AIBA

Referees Ishanguly Meretnyyazov and Frank Scharmach have received punishments from amateur boxing's governing body for their involvement in separate incidents during the men's boxing tournament at the Olympics.

The International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) levied the harsher sanction against Meretnyyazov, who has been expelled from the London Games for his role in Wednesday's controversial bout between bantamweights Satoshi Shimizu and Magomed Abdulhamidov.

Japan's Shimizu lost a 22-17 decision to Abdulhamidov on Wednesday despite knocking the Azerbaijani to the canvas several times in the third round. The decision was overturned on Thursday after a protest was logged on behalf of Shimizu.

A statement released Thursday by the AIBA said Abdulhamidov fell down six times in the final round of his fight against Shimizu. By the AIBA's count, Meretnyyazov should have counted for at least three of those falls, which would've led to a stoppage and a victory for Shimizu.

"I was shocked about the final scores," Shimizu said shortly after Wednesday's fight. "He fell down so many times. Why didn't I win? I don't understand."

As a result of the AIBA's findings, Shimizu has been reinstated to the tournament and will next face Mohamed Amine Ouadahi of Algeria in the quarterfinal round on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Scharmach has been suspended from officiating matches at the London Games until Aug. 6. He was the referee when Ali Mazaheri of Iran was disqualified for persistent holding while fighting Cuba's Jose Larduet Gomez. That decision was not overturned and Gomez will fight Clemente Russo of Italy in a heavyweight quarterfinal bout on Sunday.

"I deeply regret that we had to take these decisions," said AIBA president Dr. Wu Ching-Kuo. "Our main concern has been and will always be the protection of the integrity and fair-play of our competitions. I will take all possible steps to reinforce this."

This scandal comes just one day after eight women's badminton players were expelled from the London Games after being accused of throwing matches in the tournament.