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Thread: Corruption in Wrestling

  1. #1

    Default Corruption in Wrestling

    After reading the Greco World Cup thread, which is mostly about the officiating, I'm left to ask: just how corrupt is international wrestling? I realize that freestyle and greco are often hard to score and that every sport complains about its referees, but it seems like there's a lot of it going on in international wrestling. Almost every tournament has allegations of bribery, Cubans getting paid to lose, ex-Russians losing on purpose, hometown favoritism, tampering with the draw, pro-Russia refereeing, anti-American conspiracies, athetes flipping out at the officials, FILA changing the "ball grab" procedures constantly to avoid cheating, and so on.

    Having said all that, at Canadian tournaments we have controversies about the scoring all the time as well, and no one (as far as I know) alledges our own officials are corrupt, and so I ask...

    How bad are things in International Wrestling really?

  2. #2
    Olympic Champ kr1963's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    Clearwater, Florida, United States

    Default Re: Corruption in Wrestling

    Hell I was learning about stuff in HS wrestling this weekend...the recruiting issue. I didn't realize how bad it is really is.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Corruption in Wrestling


    Romero/Mindorashvilli world finals. Afterwards Romero is suspended for taking money from the Georgian fedaration.

    Garzon vs Gogaev world semis. The heavily favored Garzon looks like a pylon in this match.

    Minguzzi vs Abrahamain... very chitzy finger grabbing call to decide this Olympic semi. Abrahamain alleges corruption, puts down his medal. The poor guy also lost a referee's decision to Mishine in the 2004 Olympic finals, and has stated the Russian delegation threatened the referees during that one to ensure Mishin got the win.

    Gogchelidze vs Gayzumov, European championships. Just one of many matches illustrating "don't wreste an Azeri in Azerbayjan". Gayzumov clearly steps out on that first clinch, repeatedly, no point given.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Corruption in Wrestling

    In the post-soviet space, it's connected with politics and business. In some East European countries and regions where wrestling is very popular, successful wrestlers (especially olympic or many-times world champs) can easily (because they are popular persons in the society) and usually do switch to politics after retiring - in regional and even national governments and parliaments. Examples are RUS, UKR, AZE, the Central Asian nations, especialy the autonomous regions ("republics") in Russia like North Ossetia, Dagestan and Kabardino-Balkaria. That is why wrestlers are very attractive for businessmen (especially in the shadow economy). They invest in wrestlers - cover the expenses for practice, camps, travelling to tourneys abroad. This investment includes also money for bribery. I do not speculate; i have first hand information from Dagestan. There are plenty of ministers, parliament memebers and local/regional goverment officers who were wrestling champs. In return, they help their sponsors by legalizing some of their activities or simply by backing them politically.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Corruption in Wrestling

    As a new fan of international wrestling, this concerns me. It kinda makes me think that they should have rules more towards folkstyle so that the refereeing won't be as much of an issue. That still wouldn't stop wrestlers from taking bribes, but it would narrow the options of those paying people off.

    How long has this stuff been going on? And does anyone think that Karelin was the beneficiary in any of it? I would like to think he was just a dominant force without opponents being paid off, but this makes me wonder.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Corruption in Wrestling

    Quinn, the new rules were brought in partly to minimize the referee's influence on the match. It eliminates such areas of official's judgement as passivities, fleeing the mat, and referee's decisions. As you say, any set of rules is open to corruption.

    Akzent, when you talk about bribery, are you talking about paying off the referees or the opponents?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Corruption in Wrestling

    both. in the particular case i know, it was the opponent.

    this began much earlier. first cases that were rumored appeared at the 2000 games.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Corruption in Wrestling

    Maybe Mavlet Batirov has the best "bribers" of all. I swear that guy has never lost a coin toss/ball grab, both nationally and internationally.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Corruption in Wrestling

    Hilarious when Romero obviously lets himself get gutted. Not the sharpest tool in the shed.

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