Speaking after Mick Conlan’s last 16 win, his father and trainer John noted how he had not seen Michael O’Reilly for eight weeks before the Olympics.
This comment has been discussed at length, with many noting how O’Reilly participated in both a camp in Azerbaijan and the World Olympic qualifier immediately afterwards in late June, less than four weeks before team Ireland flew to Rio.
The issue was debated today on RTÉ in the aftermath of Katie Taylor’s shock loss to Mira Potkonen, while some have also pointed out that Conlan himself was not at the qualifier in Baku, or that perhaps he was referring to a non-specific eight weeks at some stage in the lead up to the Olympics rather than the immediately preceding eight weeks, or that ‘eight weeks’ was just an off-hand throwaway comment.
O’Reilly qualified for Rio and flew to Brazil last month, but it later emerged that the middleweight medal prospect had failed a drugs test and he has since returned home.
The IABA have this evening issued the following statement which reads:
“The Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) can confirm that Michael O’Reilly was with the Irish Boxing Team in Baku, Azerbaijan from 2nd to 26th June partaking in both a pre-competition camp and the Olympic Qualification Competition.”
“On his return home from Azerbaijan Michael had a knuckle injury and also had the flu. He trained at his local club, Portlaoise Boxing Club during this period and joined up with the team when they departed for the pre-Olympic Rio Training camp on July 19th.”
“Ireland’s remaining boxer Michael Conlan fights in his quarter final bout tomorrow at 15.30 Irish time. Our thoughts and good wishes are with Michael and the team as he prepares for this important contest.”
Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)