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Ishanguly Meretnyyazov, Boxing Referee, Expelled From London Olympics

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LONDON -- An boxing referee from Turkmenistan was expelled from the London Olympics on Thursday for his handling of a bout in which the result was overturned on appeal.

Boxing's governing federation, known as AIBA, released a statement saying referee Ishanguly Meretnyyazov "is on his way back home."

The federation also suspended German referee Frank Scharmach five days for his decision to disqualify an Iranian heavyweight, and expelled technical official Aghajan Abiyev of Azerbaijan.

"I deeply regret that we had to take these decisions," AIBA President Wu Ching-Kuo said. "However, 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."

Both sanctioned referees made unusual decisions during Wednesday night's card.

In a bantamweight bout, Magomed Abdulhamidov of Azerbaijan fell to the canvas six times in the third round against Satoshi Shimizu of Japan, yet still won a 22-17 decision.

Meretnyyazov allowed the fight to continue after each tumble, and he enraged the Japanese team by fixing the headgear worn by Abdulhamidov, who had to be helped from the ring after winning.

AIBA overturned the result late Wednesday night, saying Meretnyyazov should have counted at least three knockdowns and stopped the bout.

Iranian heavyweight Ali Mazaheri was disqualified in his bout with Cuba's Jose Larduet after several warnings for holding from Scharmach, who finally waved off the fight midway through the second round.

The stoppage seemed quick to the booing crowd, and Mazaheri, who stood with his arms outstretched and eventually left the ring without shaking hands with Larduet or Scharmach. Mazaheri claimed the result was "a fix" and "a setup."

Scharmach is suspended through Tuesday's Olympic fights, but the disqualification stands.

The federation did not specify what Abiyev had done to earn expulsion, saying only that he had committed "a number of breaches" of its code of conduct.

International technical officials aren't referees or judges, but perform numerous duties around the ring during competition regarding everything from the draw to medical rulings and equipment management.

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