Saturday 1 October 2016

'You sacrifice your life for a dream and then it's snatched away - it's sickening,' says Dunne

Robin Schiller

Published 17/08/2016 | 02:30

Bernard Dunne was also critical of the result
Bernard Dunne was also critical of the result

Olympians, coaching staff and the chief of the Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) have slammed the controversial unanimous decision that saw Michael Conlan lose his bantamweight quarter-final bout.

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CEO of the IABA, Fergal Carruth, said that a review would be carried out on Ireland's Olympic Games and that clarification would be sought following this.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, he said: "I suppose in terms of where we move next, we'll have to sit down and consider exactly what has gone on at these Games.

"It's something we haven't encountered in the past. Two of our boxers were clear winners, Michael more worryingly... lost out on a phenomenal decision."

Joe Hennigan, the manager of the Irish boxing team for the Rio Games, said that rumours had been circulating about medals being "earmarked" for certain countries before the events took place.

"I've watched a lot of contests here, our boxers are giving everything and winning, but, Jesus, the results that are being given against them.

"All through the week you're hearing medals being earmarked for certain countries and you don't really believe it, but when you see a contest like Katie [Taylor]'s who was another one done out of a place and Michael there today you'd wonder.

"Personally myself I don't want to be involved in boxing where that type of a decision can just shatter a lad's dreams," Mr Hennigan said.

"Michael trained hard for four years and then to have a decision go against him like that, it makes you wonder.

"We'll go home and have a couple of weeks off and then see what the feeling is on the ground and if they want to continue with amateur boxing.

"It [corruption] has been blatant for a while now, it was creeping in for a while now. I have been away with a lot of teams at different levels and we got raw deals. Katie got a raw deal in the qualifiers and another in the World Championship, which she won hands down.

John Treacy, head of the Irish Sports Council, told the Irish Independent that he was "very disappointed" about the result and felt that Michael Conlan won the contest.

In a tweet, Olympic boxer Paddy Barnes told the International Boxing Association (AIBA), "you're a f***ing disgrace to the sport" while former professional boxer Bernard Dunne also took to social media to express his anger at the result.

"Sickening and wrong. This is a complete joke. You sacrifice all your life for a dream and then a bunch of bandits bloody snatch it away from you. Conlan was the clear winner," he said.

"He will make one hell of a pro as there is no chance I would wait another four years to go through that again," Dunne added.

Irish Independent

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