Cuban judoka Oreydi Despaigne was disqualified Thursday from his men’s -100kg bout after biting opponent Ramziddin Sayidov of Uzbekistan with 30 seconds remaining in a round-of-16 contest he was winning.
With the Cuban half-heavyweight up on the scoreboard with one waza-ari versus two yukos for his opponent, the Uzbek extended his hand to grab the flap of Despaigne’s kimono but misjudged the move and put a finger in the Cuban’s mouth.
Sayidov complained that Despaigne had bitten him and the judges decided to disqualify the Cuban.
“I tried to talk to the judges and I told them (Sayidov) put his hand in his mouth. They told me ‘no,’ that he bit him. How is he going to bite him? This has never happened in judo. I’ve been in this for 40 years and I’ve never seen anything like this,” Justo Noda, Despaigne’s trainer, said.
A dejected Despaigne also expressed his displeasure with the decision while making his way to the locker room.
“I feel good about how I competed but disappointed at this injustice. He stuck his hand in my mouth, he split my lip. Look! It’s still swollen,” the Cuban said.
Despaigne, who had received a bye in the first round, was eliminated from the competition because judokas who lose prior to the quarterfinals cannot compete for a bronze medal in the consolation bracket.
The Cuban was a silver medalist at the 2011 Pan American Games and a bronze medalist at the 2010 and 2007 World Judo Championships.