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Abrahamian stripped of bronze medal

August 16, 2008 16:35 IST

Swedish greco-roman wrestler Ara Abrahamian has been stripped of his 84kg-category bronze medal after he threw it down in protest at the refereeing, the International Olympic Committee said on Saturday.

During the wrestling medal ceremony, Abrahamian took the bronze from around his neck after beating Melonin Noumonvi of France, stepped from the podium, dropped it in the middle of the wrestling mat and then walked off.

The IOC said the athlete, who announced his retirement after his bronze medal bout, was disqualified, stripped of his medal as well as his Olympic accreditation. It said no athlete would be upgraded to take his bronze medal.

In a decision signed by IOC President Jacques Rogge, it ordered the Swedish Olympic Committee to enforce the decision which meant Abrahamian would have no access to any Olympic venues or the athletes' village.

It also ordered the wrestling federation to take any further action as it saw fit.

"The International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles is requested to modify the results of the event accordingly, it being understood that the athlete who placed behind Mr Abrahamian shall not be promoted to third place," it said.

Abrahamian's coach had denounced his defeat in the semi-final as a result of "politics".

The Swedish wrestler, a silver medalist in Athens, had to be restrained by team mates when a row erupted with judges over the decision in the semi-final bout with Andrea Minguzzi of Italy, who went on the take gold.

Abrahamian shouted at the referee and judges then went over to their seats to speak to them up close.

He angrily threw off the restraining arm of a team official then turned and left.

Swedish fans booed loudly as the judges filed out of the arena.

Swedish coach Leo Myllari said: "It's all politics."

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