Tuesday 23 May 2017

'We kind of embarrassed AIBA and now we're being punished for it' - Eddie Bolger

Vladimir Nikitin of Russia is declared victorious over Michael Conlan of Ireland during their Bantamweight Quarter final bout at the Riocentro Pavillion 6 Arena during the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Vladimir Nikitin of Russia is declared victorious over Michael Conlan of Ireland during their Bantamweight Quarter final bout at the Riocentro Pavillion 6 Arena during the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ireland coach Eddie Bolger has suggested that our fighters in Rio have been penalised by the AIBA for the embarrassment caused by Michael O'Reilly doping controversy.

O'Reilly tested positive on the eve of the Games and was subsequently sent home after opting against having his 'B' sample tested.

All seven Irish boxers have since bowed out of the Olympics, but the nature of exits for Katie Taylor and Michael Conlan has caused serious disquiet among Team Ireland and its fans.

Irish coach Eddie Bolger told RTE: "There's rumours village that there are names on the medals already."

Bolger voiced his pride at Ireland's displays in the ring at Rio and alleged that there may have been a link between controversial calls made against some of our boxers and O'Reilly's positive test

"Our performances in the ring have been second to none. We've competed with the best in the world. We lost a few split decisions but we really can't control those decisions," Bolger added

"I'm really proud of Michael Conlan. Katie yesterday, they've held themselves together better than I have.

"This has been a great Olympics within the camp.

"We kind of embarrassed AIBA at the start and now we're being punished for it.

"I can't really comment on Michael but this doesn't happen everyday. Katie won the fight hands down yesterday, no doubt about it and Michael today, I thought he had won it."

It would be a horrible way for Michael Conlan to end an illustrious amateur career but his post-fight interview suggested that he will pursue the rest of his career in the paid ranks.

"We'll have a chat with him, we'll talk to him. Michael is a fairly emotional chap at the best of times," Bolger continued.

"It's never easy to take but it's a little bit easier when you can't control it. He didn't underperform.

"It's just boggling."

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