Monday 23 April 2018

Numbers game wrecks Ward wild-card hopes

The CAS hearing ran from 9.0 Wednesday morning to 2.0 Thursday morning in London's Grosvenor Hotel.



Ward (right) was represented at the hearing by a senior counsel, as were the IOC, the AIBA, the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) and the NOC of Montenegro. Draskovic and the Olympic Council of Ireland were also invited, but chose not to attend.

According to IOC guidelines, wild-card or Tripartite places are reserved for smaller nations, typically with less than six athletes already qualified in the sport in question. While Ireland have six boxers qualified for these Games, Draskovic will be the only Montenegrin in the ring.

The Commission's stance had been that Ward, thus, fell outside the criteria and the CAS ruling essentially supports that view.

Heartbreaking then for Ward, who would have been a hot medal prospect, and fears will inevitably arise that he might now be lost to the professional ranks.

Ireland will, thus, have just two seeded boxers in these Games, Katie Taylor and John Joe Nevin as they and the other four await today's crucial draw.

Irish Independent

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