‘Medal in the post’ – Michael Conlan reacts to Rio corruption investigation

Michael Conlan had one of the more noteworthy reactions to the news an investigation has been launched into alleged corruption during the boxing competition in Rio 2016.

The Belfast fighter was the ‘robbed’ poster boy of the Games after his massive reaction to quarterfinal defeat and the blantant injustice of his exit.

The then reigning world amateur champion lost on a split decision to Russia’s Vladimir Nikitin, a fighter he has since defeated in the pros, causing uproar across Ireland and further afield. Indeed, such was the damage the Belfast fighter inflicted on Nikitin at the time the Russian had to pull out of his semi-final with Shakur Stevenson.

Conlan’s reaction has become a thing of Olympic and Irish sporting folklore and while he didn’t let fly with expletives or flip the bird on hearing news an investigation will be launched he couldn’t resist a sly dig.

The IABA have brought in Richard McLaren – the man who led the investigation into widespread Russian doping – to complete the second Rio investigation.

“Boxing has a long history of questionable activities,” McLaren said, “There have been multiple past investigations into the sport that have either not been completed or acted upon.

“It is time for boxing to turn the page, but it cannot do so without a full accounting of any alleged misconduct.

“Our team will conduct an independent investigation into the questions surrounding corruption or manipulation of sporting results during the Rio Olympic Games, identify the persons responsible and recommend the appropriate course of action.”

Current AIBA president Umar Kremlev said of the new investigation, “Boxing was created when rules were introduced to ensure fair fights.

“Any undermining of those rules is unacceptable.

“For some time, it has been clear that AIBA could do more in following up on allegations of unfairness.

“Unfortunately, in order to move to a brighter future, we must now also shine a light on AIBA’s past.

“The best way to do this is to bring in independent experts to uncover any wrongdoing so that we can learn any lessons that need to be learned and restore confidence.

“Professor McLaren has an unparalleled track record when it comes to sporting investigations and I encourage everyone in the world of boxing who may have evidence of interest to step forward and share it with McLaren and his team.”

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com