I posted earlier about Ara Abrahamian, Swedish Armenian wrestler, who "threw down his 84kg greco-roman bronze in disgust after his shot at gold was ended by a decision denounced by the Swedish coach as "politics". He then has been stripped of his medal by the International Olympic Committee.
As AP now reports, Ara Abrahamian had all the reasons for being angry. This story is among top most popular stories on Yahoo’s new Digg-style service.
Court: Wrestler who dropped medal was right
BEIJING (AP)—It turns out that the Greco-Roman wrestler who was stripped of his bronze medal for dropping it in disgust on the mat had reason for being angry, according to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Ara Abrahamian of Sweden complained to CAS that a penalty in the second round of his 84-kilogram bout on Aug. 14 against Italian Andrea Minguzzi wasn’t assessed until after the round ended. Once factored in, Abrahamian automatically lost the match. Minguzzi went on to win the gold medal.
Abrahamian’s coach was then denied a request for a video review, then the wrestling federation—the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles, or FILA—refused to consider a protest.
The 28-year-old Abrahamian had to be restrained from going after matside officials following his loss to Minguzzi. He stormed away from the area where interviews are conducted and slammed a door to the dressing rooms.
After he was given his bronze during the medals ceremony, Abrahamian walked off the podium, went over to mat and dropped it in disgust and walked away. On Aug. 15, the International Olympic Committee disqualified Abrahamian and stripped his medal for violating the spirit of fair play during the medal ceremony.
The Armenian-born Abrahamian—who also lost a 2004 Olympic semifinal match on a disputed call—initially wanted judges in the bout tossed out and his medal restored. But in the end, he only wanted CAS to verify that the lack of an immediate appeals process is a loophole that needs to be fixed. It also was referred to as a violation of “the Olympic Charter and FILA’s own rules about fair play.”
Judges said Abrahamian was right.
“We limit ourselves to ruling that FILA must, consistently with the (Olympic) Charter and general principles of fairness, establish for the future a jury of appeal to determine the validity or otherwise of complaints of the kind ventilated by (Abrahamian),” the judges wrote.
Elsewhere in the 20-page ruling, judges noted several times that FILA did not appear at a hearing.
In this picture made available Friday, Aug. 15, 2008, Greco-Roman men's 74-84Kg bronze medalist, Sweden's Ara Abrahamian leaves his medal on the mat during the medal ceremony to protest against a decision in the semi-finals at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008. In the background at left second bronze medalist Nazmi Avluca from Turkey receives his medal. (AP, via Yahoo)
Sweden's Ara Abrahamian, top, wrestles France's Melonin Noumonvi in the bronze medal bout of the men's 84kg Greco-Roman wrestling at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008. Abrahamian won the bronze medal but refused to take it in protest to a semi-final's judge decision. (AP, via Yahoo)
Sweden's Ara Abrahamian shouts at wrestling officials after a controversial match decision during his 84 kilogram greco-roman wrestling match against Italy's Andrea Minguzzi at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008. (AP, via Yahoo)