Evan Metcalfe loses appeal against stripping of Irish Elite Title following drugs ban

The Irish Athletic Boxing Association and Sport Ireland have upheld their original decision to ban and strip Evan Metcalfe of of his National Elite Senior title.

It has today been confirmed that Metcalfe’s appeal against the stripping of his title has been rejected.

The Crumlin fighter, boxing out of the Hyland Boxing Academy, defeated Cork’s Thomas McCarthy in a close and controversial 56kg final back in February.

However, this title, his first Elite title, was disqualified due to a failed drug test which revealed evidence of cannabis use and Metcalfe was been banned from the sport for four months.

In a joint statement in August, the IABA and Sport Ireland confirmed that Metcalfe “tested positive for the presence of a prohibited substance, carboxy-THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)” immediately following his final win over McCarthy.

At a hearing back in May, Metcalfe acknowledged his anti-doping violation and gave evidence where he claimed that on Wednesday February 21st, three days before his final, “he had been socialising at a number of pubs with friends for a birthday celebration, and had attended a party at a friend’s house afterwards.”

Metcalfe admitted that “he had consumed a lot of alcohol, and was offered what he thought to be ‘a cigarette’ by another person at the party. This cigarette contained the cannabis.”

Metcalfe said that “I didn’t mean to take it. I didn’t know what I was doing, I put my hands up to it.”

While they stressed that it is an athlete’s “personal duty” to monitor any and all substances they ingest, the Irish Sport Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel which handed down the ban believed that Metcalfe’s violation involved “no significant fault or negligence” and therefore reduced his ban from the standard 24 months to four months.

Metcalfe lodged an appeal not against the ban, but the stripping of his first Senior title.

However, in another joint statement released this evening, the Irish Athletic Boxing Association and Sport Ireland confirmed the appeal panel had upheld the original panel’s decision.

Their statement reads as follows:

The Irish Athletic Boxing Association and Sport Ireland jointly announce the appeal decision of the Irish Sport Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel regarding the appeal of boxer Evan Metcalfe.

Evan Metcalfe was banned for a period of 4 months which expired at midnight on 19th of August 2018. He did not appeal the length of the ban, but appealed the disqualification of his National Elite Boxing Championship title of 24th of February 2018, the date of the positive test.

The appeal panel upheld the original hearing panel’s decision and confirmed that Article 9 of the Irish Anti-Doping Rules means that an automatic part of each sanction in individual sports in connection with an In-Competition test is the disqualification of the result obtained in that Competition and forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes related to this.

The hearing was held under Article 8 (Disciplinary Process) of the Irish Anti-Doping Rules and this announcement is made pursuant to Article 15 (Public Disclosure) of the Rules.

The full appeal decision of the Disciplinary Panel is available at: https://www.sportireland.ie/Anti-Doping/Current-Sanctions/

Metcalfe, with his ban served, is back training and the older brother of pro Aiden Metcalfe and amateur Courtney Daly is targeting next February’s Elite Senior Championships.


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