Boxing referee expelled from Olympics

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Boxing referee expelled from Olympics

From Comcast SportsNet
LONDON (AP) -- A 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 C.K. Wu 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.

Francona misses second game this month because of health issues

Francona misses second game this month because of health issues

CLEVELAND -- Indians manager Terry Francona missed Tuesday night's game against Texas after his second trip to the hospital this month.

The Indians said doctors for now have ruled out major health issues and Francona will be monitored the next several weeks.

Francona, 58, left Monday night's game because he wasn't feeling well. He spent several hours at Cleveland Clinic and underwent a series of tests.

Francona was released from the hospital on Tuesday and spent the rest of the day at home. He was expected to return to the dugout Wednesday when the Indians host the Rangers. Cleveland lost to Texas 2-1 on Tuesday.

Bench coach Brad Mills ran the team in Francona's absence. Cleveland began the day in first place in the AL Central after rallying for a 15-9 win Monday.

"Tito actually wanted to come back to the ballpark today," team president Chris Antonetti said Tuesday. "I told him he can't come back to the ballpark today. He only got a couple hours of sleep last night, so despite his desire to want to be here, I thought it was best that he gets some rest tonight and just come back tomorrow. His plan when he was getting released from the hospital was to come over here."

"I don't think he was exceedingly happy with me," Antonetti said with a laugh. "That's OK."

Francona was hospitalized June 13 following a game at Progressive Field. He underwent tests and was released a few hours later, returning to work the following night. Last August, he missed a game after experiencing chest pains but was back the next day.

"Thankfully, we've got some great doctors that are coordinating his care," Antonetti said. "They've done every test they can possibly imagine. They've all come back clean. They're now working to try to figure out what are some of those things that are causing him to not feel so well."

Francona, a close friend of Mills for several years, has retained his sense of humor through his health issues.

A statement released by the team Tuesday read, "Mr. Francona also wanted to express that medical personnel have not yet ruled out an allergy to Bench Coach Brad Mills."