— Published 5 October 2021

France denounces the McLaren report

Predictable. The McLaren report on suspected match-fixing at the Rio 2016 Games is explosive in its conclusions and continues to cause a stir. The French Boxing Federation (FFB) issued a statement on Monday, October 4th, denouncing the conclusions of the document written by the Canadian lawyer’s team. “This preliminary report contains accusations that are based on allegations and suppositions, without ever providing tangible and factual proof of what it says,” said FFB president Dominique Nato. “The process is most shocking in view of the seriousness and the damage that these assertions are doing to the athletes concerned as well as to the FFB”. As a reminder, the McLaren report on boxing, commissioned by AIBA itself, identifies at least 11 fights that could have been manipulated at the Rio 2016 Games. Some of these involve French boxers, including Tony Yoka and Sofiane Oumiha (pictured above, front), both Olympic medallists. But the report’s findings suggest that it was their opponents who benefited from the manipulation. “The FFB affirms that none of its members present in Rio was informed, nor did they endorse or, a fortiori, participate in the slightest manoeuvre that would have flouted the ethics and principles of Olympism,” insists the French body’s press release. “Nobody has the right to sully French boxers based on analysis that are as approximate as they are unfounded! It would also be welcome if Richard McLaren would also look into the cases of Alexis Vastine, Nordine Oubaali and, more recently, Mourad Aliev, who were so unduly deprived of an Olympic podium following verdicts that were much more questionable, not to say scandalous”.