Baku to the BBC: You're Just Jealous!
“You're jealous because we are pretty, athletic and rich,” has essentially become Baku's way to smack back at the BBC after the broadcaster reported that Azerbaijan was alleged to have handed over $9 million to buy gold medals for its boxers at London's 2012 Olympics.
The match-fixing allegations, first leveled by the BBC and later picked up by other outlets, are not surprising, cooly observed Ali Ahmedov, a senior member of the ruling Yeni Azerbaijan Party, the pro-government APA news agency reported. As oil-rich Azerbaijan increasingly “contributes to the development of sports and physical training” around the world -- it's currently hosting the International Boxing Association's World Boxing Championships -- the little green-eyed monster cannot but be on the prowl, he reasoned.
But Azerbaijan need not worry about securing medals, he continued. In Ahmedov's telling, the World Championships alone could get Azerbaijani boxers a ticket to the 2012 Olympics.“All of this obviously causes envy,” he concluded.
It may be doubtful whether such an argument could ever stand up in court, but, with investigation plans still pending, Azerbaijan is clearly making its move to punch the allegations into a knockout before the upcoming Olympic games.