Inspector General’s Report Claims NY Boxing Agency Dysfunctional

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On Monday July, 25, 2016, the New York State Inspector General’s Office released a report determining the boxing division of the New York State Athletic Commission has a history of being dysfunctional and unethical. According to the report — which spawned out of the investigation surrounding the handling of severe injuries suffered by heavyweight boxer Magomed Abdusalamov in November of 2013 — former senior level staff members of NYSAC promoted a culture of accepting gifts and rewarding friendlier constituents, while inadequately providing for the athletes they were charged with overseeing. Providing for fighter safety — one of the main tenets of the agency — was shown shown to be an area of lackluster concern by the Inspector General’s report, especially on the night of Abdusalamov’s bout.

The report states that due to the poor communication practices of NYSAC’s leadership, Abdusalamov was forced to take a taxi to the hospital after his 2013 match at Madison Square Guarden, instead of an ambulance. As well, Abdusalamov, who at the time was bleeding into his brain and urinating blood, was delayed in seeking medical treatment after his fight because NYSAC did not have a sufficient medical emergency plan in place.

The report also found that NYSAC inspector Matthew Farrago, who was in charge of Abdusalamov’s fight that night, took unauthorized pictures of the boxer and snatched his discarded hand wraps to sell for a charity, further delaying the boxer from seeing a medical care provider as quickly as possible.

The inadequacies of the way NYSAC and its members handled the aftermath of Abdusalamov’s fight exemplify the dysfunctions of the governing body as a whole, the report found. The report ended with listing a number of recommendations in hope of their adoption by NYSAC, including the establishment of a central hub for operations and communications at sporting events, the development and implementation of more thorough procedures for medical care following a fight, and the suggestion that NYSAC staff complete ethics and medical training before overseeing an event.

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