Thursday, 14 August 2008
Swedish Armenian wrestler at the centre of Olympics scandal
Swedish wrestler Ara Abrahamian throws away medal in Olympic hissy fit
While an Olympic medal would be seen by most athletes as the ultimate reward for a lifetime's work, Swedish wrestler Ara Abrahamian was less than pleased with the bronze he won at the Chinese Agricultural University Gym:
Abrahamian 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".
Abrahamian took the medal from around his neck during the medal ceremony, stepped from the podium and dropped it in the middle of the mat before storming off.
The Swedish wrestler had to be restrained by team-mates earlier as a row erupted with judges over the decision in a semi-final bout with Andrea Minguzzi of Italy, who went on the take gold.
Abrhamian, who won silver at the Athens 2004 Games, shouted at the referee and judges then went over to confront judges, angrily throwing off the restraining arm of a team official.
Swedish fans booed loudly as the judges filed out of the arena. Abrahamian said nothing to waiting reporters but whacked an aluminium barricade with his fist as he left the hall.
"It's all politics," said Swedish coach Leo Myllari.
*photo: Reuters - Unwanted: Abrahamian's discarded medal