Mick Conlan promises to not co-operate with AIBA investigation into his Rio rage

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It’s another “f*ck off” from Mick Conlan to the AIBA, although in slightly more refined language this time.

While he may have turned pro, the AIBA still intend to punish Conlan for his outburst following his hugely controversial loss to Vladimir Nikitin at the Rio Olympics – and the Belfast man will not take it lying down,

Conlan was bafflingly adjudged to have been beaten by the Russian in their bantamweight quarter final in Rio and he did not shy away from letting his feelings be known afterwards. The Clonard ABC man labelled the AIBA as being “f*cking cheats” in a sensational post-fight interview live on RTÉ.

AIBA overlord Dr. Ching-kuo Wu labelled the outburst “totally unacceptable,” and promised that “a lot of disciplinary action will follow.” Nevertheless, the organisation are currently undergoing an internal investigation into their referees and judges (who are all currently suspended) and have disbanded the controversial ‘Magnificent Seven,’ suggesting that more than a few things are rotten with the current state of amateur boxing.

For what it is worth, Conlan was not bothered when initial threats of an AIBA investigation into his behaviour surfaced, and he explained how “they can try to punish me, but I don’t think it’s going to be possible for them. They can try to do what they want.”

AIBA have since began a formal investigation and are preparing sanctions on the Irishman, who has turned pro with American giant Top Rank – with a reported $1,000,000 signing-on fee. The organisation claim that Conlan’s actions have undermined the AIBA’s “principles of honesty, integrity and sportsmanship.”

Conlan, via his solicitor Padraig O’Muirigh, has promised that he will not co-operate with the investigation, and pointed out the hypocrisy of the AIBA proceeding with their enquiry into him whilst all 36 Olympic judges are still suspended pending investigation – as well as reminding the AIBA that he is now a pro fighter and is beyond their remit.

The statement in full reads:
My client, Michael Conlan, has been notified by an International Boxing Association (AIBA) Disciplinary Commission Panel that it is investigating a submission by the AIBA that our client should be sanctioned in respect of an incident that occurred at the end of his controversial quarter final bout with Vladimir Nikitin at the Rio Olympics on the 16th August 2016.

My client totally refutes accusations by the AIBA that he has undermined ‘the principles of honesty, integrity and sportsmanship’.

Michael Conlan lost this controversial bout which, by common consent, he should have been awarded by the presiding judges. There was a widespread outcry from many quarters, including boxing pundits, at the decision of the judges.

My client made a passionate critique of amateur boxing authorities in the immediate aftermath of that bout which attracted worldwide attention. His actions led to the suspension of a number of Olympic boxing judges and to a review of the Refereeing and Judging procedures governing the sport. My client was therefore to the fore in a concerted, high profile campaign to reform amateur boxing.

My client is dismayed that a three member AIBA Disciplinary Commission Panel has been convened in relation to this matter, and in particular, in advance of any conclusion of the investigation into the thirty six judges used in the Olympics Games.

In addition, the AIBA Disciplinary Commission Panel is fully aware of our client’s decision to sign a professional contract with Top Rank Boxing on 13th September 2016. As such he is no longer registered to the Irish Athletic Boxing Association and no longer participates in AIBA competition.

I have informed the AIBA Disciplinary Commission Panel that my client will not be co-operating with their investigation in these circumstances.”

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie