Monday 20 January 2020

BBC slammed after claiming Irish hero Michael Conlan fought for Great Britain at Rio Olympics

A furious Michael Conlan after defeat in Rio
A furious Michael Conlan after defeat in Rio

BBC Sport incurred a scathing backlash today for posting a tweet that claimed Irish boxer Michael Conlan was a member of the Great Britain Olympic team.

Belfast-born Conlan, who represented Ireland at the London and Rio games, was briefly referred to as a Team GB member on the BBC Sport Twitter account, which has over 6 million followers. The post in question has since been corrected.

Conlan has always been vocal about how proud he is to be an Irishman so the Beeb's latest geographical blunder will surely cause the world bantamweight champion offence.

"@TeamGB boxer Michael Conlan faces punishment over his reaction to defeat at #Rio2016," tweeted the BBC from their official account earlier. The tweet has since been deleted, but not before it was screen grabbed and the error has left many fuming.

The gaff is in line with the travails that Conlan has encountered over the last month. The 24-year-old was the victim of some dubious judging in his quarter final bout against Vladimir Nikitin, as all three officials found in favour of the Russian despite an overwhelming consensus that the bronze medalist of fours ago had clearly won two of the three rounds.

Conlan responded by brandishing his middle fingers at the judges and labelling the AIBA as corrupt in an expletive-laden rant on RTÉ after the bout.

AIBA president Wu Ching-kuo responded by claiming that a disciplinary committee would be established to reprimand the boxer, though Conlan has stated that his time in the amateur ranks is over and that he intends to turn professional, so it's unclear exactly what action the body can take.

Previously, the BBC posted an article which contained a passage that claimed that Conor McGregor was from both Ireland and the United Kingdom.

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