After a display of temperamental unsportsman-like behaviour, Swedish wrestler Ara Abrahamian was kicked out of the Olympic games and stripped of his winning bronze medal.
The ex-Olympian defiantly took off his winning medal during Thursday's medal ceremony, dropped it on the ground and stormed off in a display of protest over a penalty call during an earlier match that caused him to lose to Italy's Andrea Minguzzi.
Minguzzi went on and took the gold in the Greco-Roman Wrestling event.
The call that elicited such ire from the Swedish wrestler and his coach was said to be one that was both political and corrupt, calling into play the ethical system as a whole. Coach Leo Myllar equated Ara's loss to corruption, saying that "It's all politics, and it's all corrupt." In fact, one news report
focuses on the alleged corruption and politicking of Greco-Roman Wrestling dating back quite some time. However, corrupt or not, the disputed penalty that lost Ara the match to Minguzzi was no reason for Ara act the way he did.
The 28-year-old Swedish wrestler, who is actually Armenian born, had to be physically restrained from going after mat-side officials following his loss. Still, despite his attempted attack on the referees, he was honored with one of two bronze medals in the event.
After his actions during the ceremony, the IOC took further notice and reviewed the incident. On Saturday, they took action and officially stripped him of the bronze medal and booted him from the Olympic games.
According to an Associated Press report
, the IOC spokesperson said:
"It was felt that his behavior on the medal podium and during the medal ceremony was not appropriate," IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies said. "His behavior was not in the Olympic spirit of respect for his fellow athletes. Whatever grievances you may have, this was not the way to go about it."
The IOC said Abrahamian violated two rules of the Olympic charter, one which bans any sort of demonstrations and another which demands respect for all Olympic athletes.
Ara could have protested privately in a fit of two-year-old rage by throwing his medal on the floor or even in a much more constructive manner, but he chose to disrespect all Olympic athletes competing in the 2008 Beijing Games and to violate the spirit of fair play.
He is the fourth athlete to be given the boot in the 2008 Olympics, but the first for a temper tantrum. The other three were for doping violations including a shooter from North Korea, a gymnast from Vietnam and a cyclist from Spain.
Ara Abrahamian's is also the third medal to be stripped during this Olympics. The other two were from the North Korean shooter who was busted for doping and was stripped of both a bronze and silver medal.
In 1992, a competitor from the former Soviet Union refused to accept his winning bronze medal in protest and was disqualified and stripped of medal winning status. Despite later apologizing, the temperamental weightlifter was forever banned from the sport by the sport's governing body.
The behaviour of these athletes is taken seriously by the IOC and can have great consequences on both their future ability in their competing sport as well as negative publicity surrounding their country.
The Swedish wrestler and almost Olympian has shown no regrets or apologies for his childish behaviour, giving even more credibility to Italian gold-medalist, Andrea Minguzzi.