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Michael O’Reilly to be sent home from Rio following drug confession

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Following his confession that he had unintentionally taken a supplement which may have contained a prohibited substance, Michael O’Reilly looks set to return home from Rio.

The exact substance which the Tipperary-born fighter tested positive for has yet to be disclosed.

The Portlaoise BC middleweight has left the Olympic Village, where he had already been in isolation since last Friday when the allegations were made, and will return home to Ireland in the coming days.

O’Reilly looks likely to be subject to a disciplinary hearing in Dublin in the near future where a potential ban could be levied upon him.

Between his immense natural talent and a favourable draw, O’Reilly would have been hotly tipped for an Olympic medal in Brazil, but this opportunity has been disappointingly scuppered by what looks like a costly error.

23 year old O’Reilly, via his legal team, admitted his guilt in a statement last night:

“Mr O’Reilly received notification on 4 August 2016 that an adverse finding had been made against him.”

“The adverse finding arises out of a matter which was not deliberate or intentional.”

“Having received further information, Mr O’Reilly now freely admits that he unintentionally took a supplement that may have contained a prohibited substance. Mr O’Reilly was given this supplement by someone unrelated to his team or association.”

“Michael O’Reilly disclosed, at the time of the test, that he had taken the supplement.”

“Mr O’Reilly offers his sincere apology to his fellow boxers, team mates, the Irish Athletic Boxing Association, Sport Ireland, the Olympic Council of Ireland and to all those who have supported him.”


In response the IABA released a statement of their own which explained that they had “been notified that Michael O’Reilly will no longer be contesting his provisional suspension imposed on him on 4th August 2016.”

“We acknowledge receipt of Michael’s statement today, Tuesday 9th August in which he admits that he unintentionally took a supplement that may have contained a prohibited substance. We note he has offered his sincere apology to his fellow team members, IABA, Sport Ireland and the Olympic Council of Ireland.”

“We are very disappointed that Michael may have taken any supplement without consulting the IABA High Performance Support Team. Educating athletes of the risks proposed by supplements is provided to all our boxers as part of the High Performance Programme.”

“We can confirm that Michael has now left the Olympic Village and will have no further involvement in the Rio Olympic Games. The Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) will be making arrangements for him to return to Ireland as soon as possible.”

“The IABA is fully committed to the Irish Anti-Doping Rules. Michael’s adverse test result initiated a process as set out in those rules. This process remains underway and until it is completed we are not in a position to comment further.”

“In the meantime, the remaining boxers, coaches and support staff at the Olympic Games in Rio are our primary focus. We are committed to providing them with all necessary support as they represent Ireland at the Olympics.”

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