Mourad Aliev, a French super heavyweight boxer, was disqualified from his quarterfinal match at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday after an intentional head butt with four seconds left in the second round.
Aliev reacted by protesting. He sat on the Olympic ring apron just outside the ropes and above the steps leading to the arena floor for close to an hour. Referee Andy Mustacchio, who disqualified Aliev, determined that he intentionally used his head on his opponent, Frazer Clarke of Britain, who had gashes near both of his eyes.
After the disqualification was determined, Aliev sat by the ring steps and didn’t move. Some French officials eventually went up to him to talk to him and brought him water. Boxing officials eventually came out to speak to Aliev and his team, and he got up and left the apron area.
Approximately 15 minutes later, Aliev made his way back to the arena and continued his protest for another 15 minutes. He eventually left and never returned after he ripped Mustacchio and the oversight of the temporary Boxing Task Force running the Tokyo tournament.
"This was my way of showing that the decision was so unfair," Aliev said through a translator. "I wanted to fight against all that injustice, and honestly today, also my teammates had unfair results. I trained my whole life for this, and I came into here, and because of one referee’s decision, I lost. It’s over."
Aliev continued: "I would have won, but it had already been written that I was disqualified. I prepared my whole life for this, so getting mad about this result is natural."
Clarke, on the other hand, has an opportunity to earn a medal after the victory. He spoke after the match and thought the decision was fair.
"I felt there was a couple of heads going in there," Clarke said. "Whether it was intentional or not, that’s not for me to say. ... I told (Aliev afterward) to calm down. You’re not thinking with your head. You’re thinking with your heart. I know it’s hard, but the best thing to do is go back to the changing room."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.