Thursday 19 October 2017

Chaos in Ireland's Olympic camp over boxer drug shame

Medal hope O'Reilly set to appeal over positive result for performance-enhancing drug

Ireland’s Michael O’Reilly poses with his gold medal after winning the men’s middleweight event at the European Games in Baku in June 2015. Photo: Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images
Ireland’s Michael O’Reilly poses with his gold medal after winning the men’s middleweight event at the European Games in Baku in June 2015. Photo: Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images

Ryan Nugent and Jane O'Faherty

Ireland's Olympic team is in crisis after one of its boxing stars tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

On the eve of the Rio games opening ceremony, Michael O'Reilly (23), from Clonmel in Tipperary, was dramatically suspended from the Olympics after test results allegedly found a banned substance in his system.

The result is a major humiliation for Ireland and casts a shadow over the boxing team who are our best medal prospects at the Olympics. The Irish camp was thrown into chaos by the revelation on the day of the draw for the Olympic bouts.

Sources have confirmed that O'Reilly - who was due to compete in the middleweight event - was tested in Ireland prior to his departure for Rio.

The test was carried out by an anti-doping official at the Irish Sports Council.

Sources confirmed the boxer is likely to appeal and have his 'B' sample tested.

The athlete's suspension is particularly embarrassing for Sports Minister Shane Ross who released a statement this week saying he hopes Irish athletes will perform in a "doping free environment". Mr Ross was formally told of the positive test result yesterday.

The boxing world was in shock with Olympic gold medallist Michael Carruth saying he was in "total disbelief".

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport