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Boxing officials expelled from Olympics

Two boxing officials have been expelled from the London Olympics. This comes as a German Olympic boxing referee received a suspension.

Amateur boxing's international body has suspended a German referee from the London Olympics, over a decision he made while umpiring a fight at the Games.

German Frank Scharmach must sit out of the Games for five days after he disqualified Iranian heavyweight Ali Mazaheri on Wednesday.

Leading 6-4 in his bout against Cuban Jose Larduet, Mazaheri received three warnings from Scharmach, ultimately costing the boxer a medal.

"I've never seen anything like it in my life," Mazaheri told news agency AFP. "I thought I was going to win the gold medal here and within a minute I have received three warnings and I was out with my dreams shattered."

The sports director of the German Boxing Association, Michael Müller, says the organisation backs the decision.

It comes amid another boxing scandal at the games, when a Turkmen boxing referee and an Azerbaijani technical official received their marching orders from the Olympics.

Turkmen Ishanguly Meretnyyazov and Azerbaijani Aghajan Abiyev were expelled with immediate effect.

The decision on Meretnyyazov came after he did not stop a bantamweight fight on Wednesday evening, despite fighter Magomed Abdulhamidov being knocked down six times in the final round.

The Azerbaijani was up against Satoshi Shimizu of Japan, yet still won a 22-17 decision.

Meretnyyayov allowed the fight to continue after each fall. The International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) overturned the result on Wednesday night, saying Meretnyyayov should have counted at least three knockdowns and stopped the fight.

Abiyev was expelled for breaking his contract by communicating with his country's team. A particular code he broke forbids technical officials from communicating with anybody about any competition.

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

"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."

jr/ (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)