An American who served as a technical official during the corruption-plagued boxing tournament at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro has been cleared to hold a position at Tokyo 2020 by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) group organising the competition.
The IOC Boxing Task Force (BTF) have confirmed that Angel Villarreal will be a deputy technical delegate at the delayed Olympic Games, which are due to open here next Friday (July 23).
All 36 referees and judges used for the boxing tournament at Rio 2016 were suspended by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) over corruption concerns and are not allowed to officiate at Tokyo 2020.
The BTF's boxing technical official selection process summary, first published in November 2019, states: "Current AIBA Executive Committee members, AIBA National Federation Presidents, AIBA National Federation General Secretaries, and Referees and Judges who were selected for the Olympic Games Rio 2016 will not be considered in the Technical Delegate, International Technical Official and Referees and Judges selection process."
According to the official Rio 2016 results book, Villarreal was an international technical official at the Games in the Brazilian city.
He was not a referee or a judge at Rio 2016 and there is no suggestion that Villarreal was involved in any wrongdoing.
The appointment, however, of any official involved in that controversial tournament is likely to raise eyebrows.
The IOC BTF told insidethegames it had "gone through great lengths to ensure all technical officials involved with the Road to Tokyo Olympic qualifying events, as well as the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, have been fully vetted".
insidethegames understands the BTF - which is organising the boxing tournament at Tokyo 2020 after AIBA was suspended by the IOC and stripped of any involvement in the sport at the Games, because of concerns over refereeing and judging, governance and finances - had claimed Villarreal was a "refereeing and judging coordinator" at Rio 2016.
A fresh investigation into the boxing competition at Rio 2016 has been launched by Canadian Richard McLaren, the man whose forensic examination of Russian doping has led to the country being banned from competing under its own flag at major events.
The suspension of the 36 referees and judges came after AIBA launched an investigation following allegations that matches were fixed.
It has been claimed an internal AIBA probe found there had been "strong suspicion surrounding [former executive director] Karim Bouzidi and the five-stars referees and judges".
The AIBA investigation, which was never published, reportedly did not accuse Bouzidi of manipulating the tournament due to a lack of evidence.
It did, however, reportedly "uncover evidence that the executive director used his authority to get referee and judges changes made in some bouts".
A report from the IOC Inquiry Committee into AIBA, which led to the suspension of its Olympic recognition, detailed issues with judging in boxing tournaments at Athens 2004.
McLaren is also looking into alleged bout-rigging at this year's Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai.