Tuesday 12 December 2017

Disgraced O'Reilly won't have to pay for his trip home

Michael O’Reilly Picture: Paul Mohan/SPORTSFILE
Michael O’Reilly Picture: Paul Mohan/SPORTSFILE

Robin Schiller and Luke Byrne

Shamed boxer Michael O'Reilly will not be out-of-pocket for his trip to Rio for the Olympics, even though he has been expelled for doping.

Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) will pay for the 23-year-old middleweight return to Ireland - along with the other costs of his trip.

O'Reilly has remained in Rio with his manager Pat Ryan since he admitted he "unintentionally" took a supplement which "may" have contained a banned substance.

It is understood he is due to return to Ireland in the coming days and may be back as early as today.

The boxer has been segregated from the Irish team since it emerged last week an anti- doping test conducted before he left for the Olympics was positive for a banned substance.

O'Reilly's camp said he would contest the findings and sources close to him were adamant in recent days that he was clean. However, on Tuesday he was forced to admit the test was correct.

An OCI spokesman last night confirmed it was paying for O'Reilly's accommodation in Rio and was continuing to do so, owing to a "duty of care" to the fighter.

"He remained in the Olympic Village [following the positive test result], under our duty of care," the council said. It declined to specify the exact cost of his accommodation.

"The OCI does not discuss administrative information publicly.

"The OCI paid for Michael's travel home as at all times we had a duty of care to him and treated him in a professional manner," the spokesman said.

Asked if he would ever have to repay the costs, the OCI confirmed he would not.

"Michael O'Reilly will not have to repay these costs, the OCI will pay these costs," the council said.

Joe Hennigan, manager of the Irish boxing team for the games, confirmed last night O'Reilly was still in Rio.

"He's with his manager now Pat [Ryan]," Mr Hennigan said.

Speaking last night, Irish boxing team coach Zuar Antia said the saga was "a shock for all Irish boxing".

Irish Independent

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