Boxing: Lee denies bribe charge

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The Independent Online
THE International Boxing Federation president, Robert Lee, pleaded innocent yesterday to a 32-count federal racketeering indictment charging that rankings were rigged. Lee and three others in the IBF solicited $338,000 (pounds 211,250) in bribes, the indictment alleges.

Lee did not speak during the hearing, at which prosecutors revealed they would be giving the defence several hundred hours of audio and video tapes collected during an investigation. They are also seeking to freeze two IBF bank accounts. A judge has set a tentative trial date of 11 January.

The charges followed a two-year federal grand jury inquiry, and the indictment charges a 13-year conspiracy in which IBF rankings were bought, referring to seven promoters and 23 boxers involved in briberies only by number.

Among the charges it is alleged Lee, in May 1998, solicited pounds 15,625 from a promoter to advance Fernando Vargas, then No 5 contender, to No 1.