Iranian boxer Ali Mazaheri has been disqualified after a bizarre display of refereeing that gave his Cuban rival Jose Larduet a controversial victory at the 2012 Olympics.
Mazaheri was disqualified for a series of seemingly innocuous offences in his match against Larduet during the round of 16 heavyweight (91kg) boxing match at the Excel Arena in London on Wednesday.
German referee Frank Scharmach firstly gave the Cuban a warning for a low head, which awarded Mazaheri two points, taking him into a 6-4 lead.
However, the referee then warned Mazaheri for persistent holding three times in quick succession, which disqualified him from the contest.
"It was a fix… In my previous fights I had done really well. It was a set up… I've never seen anything like it in my life," Mazaheri told reports after the match.
The 30-year-old Iranian boxer spent a few minutes standing in his corner of the ring and walked out of the ring before the referee acknowledged Larduet as the winner.
"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," he said, adding, "It is incredible. I can't believe this has happened."
According to Rule 12.2.1 of the International Amateur Boxing Association’s Technical & Competition Rules, “only three warnings may be given to the same boxer in one contest. The third warning brings automatic disqualification'."
A similar example of bad Olympic officiating also happened for Japan's bantamweight Satoshi Shimizu and two bouts earlier, bringing under fire for wrong decisions.
Earlier in the tournament, Iran's Mehdi Tolouti defeated Jonathan Alonso Flete of Spain in the 64-kilogram division and Ehsan Rouzbahani beat his Colombian rival Jeysson Monroy Varela in the 81-kilogram division.