Thursday 19 September 2019

Boxer Michael O'Reilly learns his fate after his failed drugs test at 2016 Olympics

Michael O'Reilly leans his fate. Photo: Sportsfile
Michael O'Reilly leans his fate. Photo: Sportsfile

Michael O'Reilly has finally been handed his punishment after he was sent home from the 2016 Olympics following a failed drugs test, with a four-year ban handed down by Sport Ireland and the Irish Athletic Boxing Association.

O'Reilly tested positive for methandienone ahead of the 2016 Rio games, with the shock waves rippling through Irish amateur boxing as an investigation was launched.

Now the verdict has been delivered on O'Reilly, with the lengthy ban evidence of the gravity of his doping violation.

"Mr O’Reilly, an international level boxer who was part of the Irish boxing team for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, has received a period of ineligibility of four years for testing positive for methandienone," declared a joint statement from Sport Ireland and the Irish Athletic Boxing Association.

"Mr O’Reilly was tested on 11 July 2016. Mr O’Reilly was notified of the positive test result on 4 August 2016 and he was provisionally suspended from 5 August 2016.

"On 5 August 2016 Mr. O'Reilly informed the Irish Sport Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (the "Panel") that he intended to appeal his provisional suspension and requested that the 'B' Sample be analysed.

"On 9 August 2016, the WADA accredited laboratory in Cologne confirmed the presence of methandienone in the 'B' Sample. Also on 9 August 2016, after receipt of detailed submissions from Sport Ireland regarding his appeal, Mr. O'Reilly withdrew the appeal and confirmed he was not contesting the substantive result of the tests. 

"On the same date, through his solicitor, Mr. O'Reilly confirmed that he "freely admits that he unintentionally took a supplement that may have contained a prohibited substance".  He formally admitted the anti-doping rule violation by letter dated 23 August 2016 and indicated that he wished to engage in a consultation process with Sport Ireland.

"Having considered the evidence and submissions as made, the Panel produced its detailed findings on sanction. The Panel concluded that Mr. O'Reilly had "not discharged the burden of proving that his admitted anti-doping rule violation was not intentional" and accordingly imposed a 4 year period of ineligibility on him as is required by the Irish Sports Council Anti-Doping Rules 2015 (the "Rules"). "

O'Reilly's period of ineligibility will run up to and including 10 July 2020, with the start of his suspension backdated to the summer of 2016.

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