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BBC Stands By Report, Disregards AIBA's Investigation

A special investigations committee appointed by amateur boxing's world governing body, AIBA, has exonerated the organisation of impropriety after allegations of corruption levelled against it by BBC Newsnight.

The committee, chaired by the chairman of AIBA's disciplinary committee, has declared the BBC report - which claimed an Azeri businessman bankrolled AIBA's World Series of Boxing in return for two guaranteed Azeri medals at London 2012, to be "groundless and unsupported by any credible evidence."

However the BBC have hit back, insisting they stand by the claims made in the programme, and declaring their intention to continue to co-operate with an independent investigation by the International Olympic Committee Ethics Commission.

The special investigations committee's statement added: "We have conducted an exhaustive investigation over the past two months and we have concluded that the allegations...were completely without merit."

The committee accepted that an investment was made by an Azeri businessman, Hamid Hamidov, but said the investment was purely for "commercial purposes" and "the subject of medals had never come up in any discussions or agreements."

Furthermore, the committee completely exonerated the World Series of Boxing's chief operating officer, Ivan Khodabakhsh - also an Azeri - who was challenged in an interview on the BBC Newsnight programme, of any wrongdoing.

In a statement to Press Association Sport, the BBC said: "Newsnight is aware of AIBA's position and we stand by our investigation.

"While we anticipate AIBA making all the evidence they reviewed public, we are continuing to co-operate with the ongoing independent investigation by the International Olympic Committee Ethics Commission."

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