The International Boxing Association said Saturday it will sue the BBC over allegations that Azerbaijan was promised two gold medals at the London Olympics in exchange for a $10 million bribe.
The accusations of foul play were first made in a BBC "Newsnight" documentary last September that set off an official probe. The British broadcaster said it had found "secret payments" were made by Azerbaijan to World Series Boxing, a competition that AIBA oversees.
Both the International Olympic Committee and AIBA investigated the BBC's claims, but didn't find any evidence of illicit activities.
On Friday, however, the network repeated the claims of illegal dealings between Azerbaijan and boxing authorities.
"In September last year the BBC alleged that AIBA took a $10 million bribe from Azerbaijan in exchange for two gold medals at the Olympic Games in London," said AIBA President Ching-Kuo Wu in a statement, AFP reported. "Both AIBA and the IOC investigated the claim and could find no evidence to support it."
Wu said he had asked the London firm PSB Law to begin legal action against the BBC. "I have worked extremely hard over the past six years to clean up Olympic boxing after years of corruption scandals under the previous administration and I am extremely disappointed and frustrated by the BBC," he added.
Azerbaijan's super heavyweight Magomedrasul Medzhidov and heavyweight Teymur Mammadov won bronze medals Friday after losing their semi-finals.
Meanwhile, U.S. television network NBC on Friday was ordered to halt ringside commentary after the AIBA complained to Olympic organizers that the commentators' presence was distracting officials at the arena, Reuters reported.
NBC said they would take up the matter with the IOC after the Games ended.
The IOC, however, said the disputes between media networks and boxing federation didn't fall under its purview.
"This is not something the IOC would be actively involved in," IOC spokesman Mark Adams was quoted as saying by Reuters. "It is a matter for the boxing federation and the broadcasters. That is not something that we are intervening in."