An American-born boxer for Honduras launched an angry tirade at boxing authorities, accusing them of corruption, after he exited the Rio Olympics on a debatable unanimous points decision on Sunday.
Teofimo Lopez said the International Boxing Association (AIBA) “stole my dream” after judges ruled Sofiane Oumiha of France won their lightweight contest.
The crowd booed the decision loudly and the 19-year-old Lopez, who switched to represent Honduras so he could get a place in Rio, sank to his knees in the middle of the ring, before performing a backflip.
The AIBA swiftly rejected his accusations, after Lopez and his father — who is his trainer — said the amateur boxing body had snatched the win away.
“You heard the boos,” said the Brooklyn-born Lopez, who was eligible for Honduras through his parents, but claimed that neither the AIBA nor Honduras wanted him in Rio.
“The AIBA did not want me to win because we will make it more controversial because AIBA stole my dream,” said Lopez. “It is a corrupted organisation.”
“Look at us now, we are fighting without headguards, we have professionals coming in…,” he added, referring to two recent controversial moves by the AIBA.
“I had everything against me, against all odds.”
An AIBA spokesman immediately rejected the accusations.
“He has just come out the ring, he is hot and he has not had the chance to replay the fight yet. It is his personal judgment.
“AIBA is always on a level playing field and all these accusations are subjective and unacceptable.”
Lopez had previously represented the United States and won Olympic trials, but was not granted a spot in Rio because of the convoluted qualifying process.