Northern Ireland news

Michael Conlan and Steven Donnelly reprimanded for Rio betting

Belfast boxer Michael Conlan
Staff Reporter

Irish boxing authorities last night said they were "very disappointed" to learn that Belfast fighter Michael Conlan and Ballymena man Steven Donnelly had been gambling during the Olympic Games.

The pair have been issued with "severe reprimands" along with Britain's Anthony Fowler for betting on the boxing competition at Rio 2016, although they did not attempt to manipulate an event.

The Olympic Council of Ireland and British Olympic Association were also reprimanded for failing to educate their athletes that they are not allowed to gamble on Olympic events.

Conlan and Donnelly have since turned professional and will not be affected by sanctions including an obligation to take part in 'integrity education programmes'.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said the trio must successfully follow its education programme to be eligible for Toyko.

London 2012 bronze medallist Conlan, who controversially lost his bantamweight quarter-final, placed bets on boxing contests in his weight division on August 8 and 9. He lost both bets.

Donnelly betted on himself to lose his welterweight fight against Tuvshinbat Byamba on August 11, but won on points.

He told the IOC he had not intended to lose but "winning the bets would be some compensation in the event he lost his match".

In a statement, the Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) said the ban on gambling was set out in conditions of participation signed by all Irish athletes at the Games.

"The IABA is very disappointed to learn that two members of the Irish boxing team have engaged in such activity during the Rio Olympic Games. We fully endorse and support today's ruling by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

"It is likely no further action will be taken by the IABA as the matter has already been dealt with by the IOC."

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