The head of the International Amateur Boxing Association put it pointedly and appropriately when he called Korean boxing officials' attack on an Olympic referee "disgraceful."

The IABA acted correctly in suspending a Korean assistant coach, a trainer, two operations personnel, and a boxing team official for their part in the melee. For the millions who watched the fight on television, it's hard to understand why Korean head coach Kim Sung-eun wasn't also thrown out of the Games.A gold-jacketed Seoul Olympic Organizing Committee employee, originally misidentified as a security guard, who joined the fracas should have been fired immediately and banned from the gymnasium.

And reprimands were in order for Korean security personnel, who were nowhere to be found when the referee came under attack.

Americans might be inclined to write the ugly fray off to Korean poor sportsmanship. But before doing that, they might recall four years ago in Los Angeles when the crowd threw refuse at a referee and he had to be escorted out by police after his controversial ruling in a U.S.-New Zealand match.

No matter how unfair any referee's decisions may appear, there is no excuse for such behavior at any sporting event - and particularly at the Olympics, where the whole idea is to promote international harmony and understanding.