Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast, the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog, and a senior contributing editor at the ADCC News.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

No Holds Barred: Why Ara Abrahamian Was Correct 

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  • On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman discusses the controversy regarding Swedish Greco-Roman wrestler Ara Abrahamian, who had his bronze medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games stripped by FILA, the international wrestling federation.

    In the second period of the 84kg semifinal match with Andrea Minguzzi of Italy, the eventual gold medal winner, Ara Abrahamian, who had lost the first period, received a warning by the referee. However, it was only after the match was over that a point was assessed against him, thus giving Minguzzi a win in the period, and thus the entire match. Requests to file a protest and for a video review of the match were denied by FILA.

    Ara Abrahamian, along with the Swedish National Olympic Committee, then filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport over the way FILA handled these requests. He also returned the bronze medal he later won, leaving it on the mat and walking out of the media ceremony. Abrahamian was later stripped of the medal, and vilified by almost all the mainstream media as a sore loser.

    The hearing was held Friday, August 22, and the Court of Arbitration for Sport agreed with Abrahamian and the SNOC that FILA was wrong in how they handled this and that FILA had violated both the Olympic Charter and their own rules.

    Their decision said, "FILA is required by the Olympic Charter and its own internal rules, to provide a procedure in its rules for an appeal jury (or some equivalent) to hear promptly claims by athletes or others affected that in a competition the relevant officials have not complied with FILA rules and procedures."

    On this edition of No Holds Barred, we discuss this case in depth, and what it means for the sport of wrestling.

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