By Duncan Mackay

January 15 - An investigation has been opened and closed following allegations made in a South Korean court last week that judges officiating in the wrestling at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing were bribed, Raphaël Martinetti (pictured), President of the world governing body FILA, has told insidethegames.

Chun Shin-il, the President of the Korean Wrestling Federation (KWF), claimed during his trial for evading taxes and taking illicit money from a businessman close to former President Roh Moo-hyun that he had used part of the money to bribe judges in Beijing.

He claimed when giving evidence to have taken the 150 thousand Yuan (£13,650)  from Park Yeon-cha, the former chairman of Taekwang Industrial and then vice-chairman of the KWF, to distribute to referees officiating in the Chinese capital during the Games.

Chun told the court that it was "a customary practice".

Martinetti claimed that FILA had studied Chun's allegations and found that they were not true. 

The Swiss told insidethegames: "FILA has set up investigations and it appears that there is no evidence of bribery from judges at the Beijing Olympics."

The wrestling competition in Beijing was marred by a major row when Sweden's Ara Abrahamian (pictured) was disqualified after dropping his bronze medal in the ring during the prize ceremony.

Abrahamian claimed that he had been the victim of corrupt judging following a series of controversial decisions during his semi-final match against the eventual gold medallist, Andrea Minguzzi of Italy.

Afterwards, Pelle Svensson, the 1964 Olympic silver medallist and the former head of FILA's disciplinary committee, told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet that bribes were regularly offered to judges.

The two-time world champion alleged that during the Athens Olympics in 2004 he had received a death threat from a Russian official but that when he reported to Martinetti he said it was "regrettable" but took no action.

Svensson, a high-profile lawyer in Sweden, also alleged that judges officiating in the finals were bribed.

He claims that he contacted the Swedish Olympic Committee and asked that they report it to the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Svensson, who quit FILA in 2007 after 17 years, claimed that the IOC needed to ensure that wrestling "must introduce a corruption-free system of judgments or otherwise remove wrestling from the Olympic programme".

He also claimed that he suggested to Martinetti that a new system of selecting officials should be introduced so that no-one knew who would be officiating until a few moments before each bout but that it was rejected.

The IOC told insidethegames that they would only take action in the latest case if the matter was referred to them by FILA.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams said: "At this time this is still a matter for the Federation and we are still waiting for information on the situation.

"If and when we receive it we can then take the appropriate action."

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