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Mongolian coaches get three-year ban for stripping in protest at Rio Olympics

Do you remember the two Mongolian coaches who ripped off their clothes in protest at the Rio Olympics, incensed about officiating that cost their wrestler a bronze medal?

If you saw the portly men stomping around the mat, nearly naked, the image is probably etched into your memory for eternity.

Now, the international wrestling federation has banned Tserenbaatar Tsogbayar and Byambarenchen Bayaraa from international competition for three years, according to a letter obtained by the Associated Press.

The Mongolian national federation has also been fined about $51,000, the report said.

The protest occurred shortly after Ganzorigiin Mandakhnaran of Mongolia appeared set to defeat Uzbekistan’s Ikhtiyor Navruzov in the 143-pound class.

But Mandakhnaran was penalized a point for celebrating too early. Then his coaches protested the call and lost their appeal, which cost their wrestler another point and gave Navruzov an 8-7 victory.

"There was a problem with the refereeing,” Bayaraa said at the time. "Three million people in Mongolia waited for this bronze medal and now we have no medal."

In a chaotic scene, Bayaraa and Tsogbayar began stripping down, one of them offering his clothes to officials as a symbolic protest. They were eventually escorted away by security.

david.wharton@latimes.com

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