Monday 5 December 2016

'Am I bovvered?' Message from Rio boxer who broke betting rules

Published 29/09/2016 | 00:00

Steven Donnelly of Ireland. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Steven Donnelly of Ireland. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Two Irish boxers involved in controversy over betting on their sport at the Olympic Games in Rio have been named as Stephen Donnelly and Michael Conlan.

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In a judgment released yesterday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said both fighters would be seriously reprimanded.

Steven Donnelly's tweet
Steven Donnelly's tweet

Donnelly was found to have placed two bets on his last 16 opponent at the Rio games, Tuvshinbat Byamba to win, although the Irish welterweight ended up winning the bout.

He told an IOC hearing on August 15 that he had bet without intending to cheat by losing his match to win his bets.

"Rather, winning the bets would be some compensation in the event he lost his match," he told the hearing, according to the judgment.

In Conlan's case, he had not bet on any of his own bouts but had made wagers on fights in his bantam weight division.

Michael Conlan. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Michael Conlan. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Both Conlan and Donnelly had made accumulator type bets, rather than single predictions. Neither won any money with their gambles. However, the judgment said they were in a position to win significant sums.

As a result of the findings, each fighter will have to prove they have followed an IOC education programme if they want to take part in the games in Tokyo 2020.

The programme includes education on the IOC rules over gambling.

In reality the sanction is likely to be of little consequence. Conlan has already signed a professional contract with Top Rank and Donnelly has also indicated he will go professional.

In a statement last night, the Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) said it was "very disappointed" to learn that two members of the Irish boxing team engaged in "such activity". It fully endorsed and supported the ruling.

There was no response to request for comment from either fighter. Donnelly took to Twitter, however, where he posted a picture with the caption: "Am I bovvered?" The quote is from a character on BBC's 'Catherine Tate Show'.

Irish Independent

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