Boxers who enter the National Elite Championships and proceed to pull out through injury will have to produce a sick note.
The IABA confirmed the latest development when officially making entries open for the 2024 tournament.
“Boxers who enter the 2024 National Elite Championships but who cannot compete through injury will be required to undergo a medical exam by a doctor at the National Stadium,” read part of the documentation.
At first glance it may seem an extreme request for what is an amateur tournament – but it’s most likely a play made with those in the High Performance in mind.
In recent years the premier domestic competition has been thrown into controversy, as big names would appear on the entry list and then withdraw before the opening bell.
It was argued in some quarters that those in pole position with regard to Olympic qualifiers or major tournaments were using a loophole to protect their Number 1 status.
The boxing family cried foul suggesting certain fighters were protected from potential domestic upset with other conspiracy theories doing the rounds.
The IABA always refuted such claims but seem to have put in place a system that will prevent any debate around the matter moving forward.
Ireland has five boxers – Kellie Harrington, Michaela Walsh, Aoife O’Rourke, Dean Clancy and Jack Marley – already qualified for Olympics.
There are eight more slots – Women – 50kg / 54kg / 66kg Men – 51kg / 57kg / 71kg / 80kg / 92+kg – available for Team Ireland to attempt to qualify boxers for.
As a result, those weights will be hotly contested in November’s installment of the Blue Ribbon tournament and it now appears the current #1s will have to compete unless injured.