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Aug232008

Cuban Taekwondo athlete banned for life after kicking ref – Beijing 2008 Olympics

Cuba’s Angel Valodia Matos, left, kicks match referee Sweden’s Chakir Chelbat in the face during a bronze medal match against Kazakhstan’s Arman Chilmanov in the men’s taekwondo +80 kilogram class at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Saturday, Aug. 23, 2008. Matos attacked the official, throwing punches and kicks, after being declared the loser in his bronze medal match.

Matos was winning 3-2, with 1:02 in the second round, when he fell to the mat after being hit by his opponent, Kazakhstan’s Arman Chilmanov. He was sitting there, awaiting medical attention, when he was disqualified for taking too much injury time. Fighters get one minute, and Matos was disqualified when his time ran out.

Matos angrily questioned the call, pushed a judge, then pushed and kicked referee Chakir Chelbat of Sweden. Matos then spat on the floor and was escorted out.

“He was too strict,” Gonzalez said, referring to the decision to disqualify Matos. Afterward, he charged the match was fixed, accusing the Kazakhs of offering him money.

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