Irish Elite Senior Champion stripped of title and banned following failed drug test


Irish Elite bantamweight champion Evan Metcalfe has been stripped of his title and handed a ban for failing a drugs test.

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, has been disqualified due to a failed drug test which revealed evidence of cannabis use and Metcalfe has been banned from the sport for four months.

In a joint statement from the IABA and Sport Ireland today, they 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 believe that Metcalfe’s violation involved “no significant fault or negligence” and therefore reduced his ban from the standard 24 months to four months.

Metcalfe will be ineligible to box for four months, but this ban has been backdated to April 19th, meaning that the Dubliner will be allowed to compete again in just over two weeks time.

Metcalfe has filed an appeal but this hearing has yet to take place.

Following his title win, which occurred in the absence of reigning champion Kurt Walker who was training for the Commonwealth Games, Metcalfe was not part of the Irish team that travelled to the U.S. for a three-fight tour after he encountered problems at immigration.

The 25-year-old was subsequently defeated on a club show by Portlaoise’s Christian Cekiso.

Metcalfe is the older brother of current 2-0 pro Aiden Metcalfe and Intermediate Championships runner-up Courtney Daly.

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