Swedish Wrestler Who Threw Tantrum Was Right

ThomasSenior Writer IAugust 28, 2008

Remember Ara Abrahamian, the Swedish wrestler who threw a tantrum in the Olympics? 

He claimed that he had been cheated out of the gold medal because of a bad call by the judges. In anger, at the medal ceremony he threw down his bronze medal, and stormed out of the arena. In the aftermath, the IOC stripped him of his bronze medal.

Turns out, the Court of Arbritration for Sport (CAS) declared that he was right.

Abrahamian complained to the CAS that a penalty in the second round of his bout on August 14th against Italian Andrea Minguzzi wasn't properly assessed.

Ultimately, his complaint was overruled and he lost the match. Minguzzi went on to win the gold medal.

Abrahamian’s coach was then denied a request for a video review, then the wrestling federation—the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles, or FILA—refused to consider a protest.

After the match, Abrahamian had to be restrained from going after officials. He instead stormed off to his dressing room.

The Armenian-born Abrahamian—who also lost a 2004 Olympic semifinal match on a disputed call—initially wanted judges in the bout tossed out and his medal restored. But in the end, he only wanted CAS to verify that the lack of an immediate appeals process is a loophole that needs to be fixed. It was also referred to as a violation of “the Olympic Charter and FILA’s own rules about fair play.”

Judges said Abrahamian was right:

“We limit ourselves to ruling that FILA must, consistently with the (Olympic) Charter and general principles of fairness, establish for the future a jury of appeal to determine the validity or otherwise of complaints of the kind ventilated by (Abrahamian),” the judges wrote.

Elsewhere in the 20-page ruling, judges noted several times that FILA did not appear at a hearing.