Sunday 18 February 2018

O'Reilly's failed drug test cast doubt over all we've done - O'Neill

Michael O'Reilly. Photo: Sportsfile
Michael O'Reilly. Photo: Sportsfile

Barry Lennon

Darren O'Neill believes Michael O'Reilly's positive doping test has called Irish amateur boxing's achievements into question.

The 31-year-old former European silver medallist says the Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA) had to "start from scratch" after O'Reilly's result and the boxers' disastrous Olympic Games last year.

"Within the association we're very aware that we suffered (after the positive test)," he said at the launch of Sport Ireland's Anti-Doping Review.

"We've always said be very careful because if one of us gets caught it drags the team into disrepute. Everything amateur boxing did over the last decade or two had been called into question.

Darren O'Neill. Photo: Sportsfile
Darren O'Neill. Photo: Sportsfile

"It (O'Reilly's case) is still pending so it's not down as a violation as of yet but the sooner it's all put to bed the better."

Sport Ireland revealed that 40pc of athletes surveyed claimed know other competitors who have used banned substances.


The results of the same study showed that 90pc of athletes believed it was "morally wrong under any circumstances" to dope.

This information is the result of a survey conducted between last August and last month, with 148 athletes completing the online questionnaire.

Athletics is the most tested sport in Ireland, accounting for 250 of the 1,003 tests in last year's €1.76m Anti-Doping Review, while cycling (155) and rugby (113) follow behind. Despite their popularity, Gaelic games (97) and soccer (44) remained far down the list.

Sport Ireland anti-doping committee member Dr Una May explained other sports were specifically targeted.

"We've said all along we have to do the risk management. Nobody is saying there is no doping but the risk in those sports is much lower," May said.

Elsewhere, rugby tops the list for Therapeutic Use Exemptions in Ireland, with 11 of the 12 sought granted.

Irish Independent

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