Aussie judoka denies match-fixing allegations

2 months ago 12
PR Distribution

Australian judoka Kayhan Takagi says he's living a "nightmare" over not being allowed to compete at the Tokyo Olympics because of match-fixing allegations he's strongly denied.

The 30-year-old Sydney-born and Japanese-based Takagi, who sat out international competition for three years just so he could represent his country of birth, was on track to represent Australia in the 100kg division in Tokyo until it all fell apart last month.

OLYMPICS LIVE BLOG: LATEST UPDATES, NEWS | TOKYO GAMES EVENT CENTRE: SCHEDULE, RESULTS, MEDAL TALLY

Kayhan Takagi (in blue) in action. (Corbis via Getty Images)

Takagi was competing at the judo world championships in Budapest in early June against Fiji's Tevita Takayawa.

He lost the first-round bout, and was later accused of fixing the result.

A back injury was the reason for his loss to Takayawa, said Takagi.

The International Judo Federation reprimanded Takagi but did not ban the Aussie as there was no evidence found of match-fixing.

However, that wasn't enough for Judo Australia, who didn't nominate Takagi for the Tokyo Olympics because he wasn't a "positive ambassador for the sport".

It ruined his dream of representing Australia, and his subsequent appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport was rejected.

"That match absolutely wasn't set up and everyone knows it," Takagi told the Herald and The Age.

"How can a guy who has been dreaming about being at the Olympics take a risk (like that)? I don't even know the opponent's contact.

"My reputation has been damaged by something I did not do. I have lived to compete in judo at the Olympics, but it was taken away so easily no matter how hard I try. I just want people to know the truth."

Takagi continues to try to prove his innocence - lodging an appeal to overturn the IJF's original decision to reprimand him - but he's shattered he's not competing in Tokyo, with today marking the start of his 100kg division bouts.

"I have let my wife and child down... this nightmare is worse than I thought," Takagi said. "

For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!

Read Entire Article