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article imageCuban Taekwondo Athlete Banned For Life After Kicking Referee

By Chris V. Thangham     Aug 23, 2008 in Sports
At the Beijing Olympics, a Cuban taekwondo athlete and his coach were banned for life after the athlete kicked the referee in the face. The referee had disqualified him for delaying the match.
The men's over-80 kg (176 pounds) taekwondo match was between Angel Matos from Cuba and Arman Chilmanov from Kazakstan. During the fight, Matos was injured and needed medical attention. An injured athlete is allowed only 60 seconds for medical attention; beyond that they are disqualified.
Matos was winning the fight until that point with a 3-2 decision and with 1:02 in the second round.
As the video shows, the injury time expired and the referee just followed the rules and disqualified Matos. It went just over the injury time but still the referee has to follow the Olympics rules.
Matos and his coach Leudis Gonzalaz were upset with this decision. Matos kept arguing with the judge and pushed him and pointing fingers at him. Then suddenly he kicked the referee and hit Chelbat’s face. The injury could have been worse if Chelbat didn’t take any evasive action as shown in the link here.
Gonzalaz was not apologetic. Instead he told AP that the referee was too strict in disqualifying Matos. Later he complained that the match was fixed and the Kazakh officials offered him money.
As a result of their actions, the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) and the Olympics have imposed a life ban on Matos and the coach.
The Beijing Olympics announced read this statement from the WTF release:
"This is a strong violation of the spirit of taekwondo and the Olympic Games. The sanctions are the following and are effective immediately: Lifetime ban of the coach and athlete in all championships sanctioned by the (World Taekwondo Federation) and at the same time, all records of this athlete at the Beijing Games will immediately be erased,"
Matos won the gold medal in this category at the 2000 Sydney Games and dedicated that victory to his mother, who died on the day of the opening ceremony. At Athens Olympics in 2004, he finished 11th.
This incident is like the Swedish athlete who threw the medal angrily. The Swedish athlete was also given a ban by the Olympics.
More about Beijing, Taekwondo, Referee
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