August 23, 2008
Cuban taekwondo competitor Angel Matos and his coach, Leudis Gonzalez, may be permanently banned from Olympics competition after Matos kicked referee Chakir Chelbat. The altercation occurred when Matos was disqualified in the second round of his match with Kazakhstan's Arman Chilmanov.
Up 3-2 with a minute remaining, Matos fell to the ground and awaited medical attention when his one minute of injury time expired, thereby awarding the match to his adversary. From there, Matos snapped and created a scene straight out of the WWE handbook.
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.
In addition to the Olympics ruling, Matos and Gonzalez may be banned from all championships sanctioned by the World Taekwondo Federation. Matos' Beijing records may also be terminated.
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