Everyone was shocked and horrified a couple weeks ago when Kim Couture was choked unconscious for several seconds while the ref just stood there and watched. The good news was the Calgary Commission decided to launch an investigation into the matter. The bad news: They’re not going to do a damn thing about it.
“As standard practice, debriefing meetings are always held amongst commission members and officials following any supervised combative sports event held in Calgary,” read a statement from the Calgary commission on Thursday. “The committee discussed the call made by the official for the Couture vs. Bird bout. It was determined that a formal review would be conducted of the circumstances surrounding that call.
“After an in-depth investigation, the Calgary Combative Sports Commission members rendered a decision to support the official, Mr. Len Koivisto. No further action or investigations into the officiating of Mr. Koivisto will be required by the Commission.
“Mr. Koivisto has been involved in the combative sports industry for close to 40 years, the last 23 in various officiating capacities. He is a well respected boxing referee (nationally and internationally) and has officiated MMA (nationally) for several years in various jurisdictions in close to 400 matches without incident. He has always taken his ring official’s duties very seriously and conducts himself with a great deal of professionalism.”
I have no clue how they came to the decision they did, but Mr. Koivisto’s past experience shouldn’t excuse his present errors. Everyone makes mistakes in their professions whether they’re in their first year or their last, but they’re also generally held accountable for their actions to ensure they don’t make the same mistakes again. In a job where the stakes are people’s lives and well-being, that couldn’t be more critical.
What makes this story even more rich though is Mr. Koivisto took Big John McCarthy’s COMMAND training course for mixed martial arts refereeing and failed it, according to Keyboard Kimura’s E. Spencer Kyte who also went through the training course. But apparently that doesn’t mean much to the Calgary Commission because as far as they’re concerned, there’s nothing to see here, move along folks.
Image via CombatLifestyle.com