Last night, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), reprimanded Irish Olympic boxers, Michael Conlan and Steven Donnelly, for placing bets during the Olympic Games in Rio.
Along with reprimands for the Belfast Conlan and Ballymena Donnelly, the IOC also reprimanded Britain’s Anthony Fowler for wagering on boxing matches during the Olympics. The Olympic Council of Ireland and the British Olympic Association also received reprimands from the IOC for failing to sufficiently educate their athletes not to place bets on Olympic events.
The Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) expressed its disappointment in the boxers, but said that no further action will be taken.
“The IABA is very disappointed to learn two members of the Irish boxing team have engaged in such activity during the Rio Olympic Games,” read a statement from the IABA. “We fully endorse and support today’s ruling by the International Olympic Committee. It is likely no further action will be taken by the IABA as the matter has already been dealt with by the IOC.”
Donnelly admitted at a hearing held in Rio on August 15 that he had signed the documents explaining the Olympic betting ban without reading them, but insisted that he did not intend to cheat when he placed the bets. In fact, he bet against himself for his match against Tuvshinbat Byamba on August 11, but won.
Conlan also admitted at his hearing in Rio on August 20 that he had signed the documents without reading them. He bet on a number of fights, including some in his own weight class.
The boxers were both sanctioned already in Rio and were banned from attending the Games’ Closing Ceremony. Both will need to prove that they undertook the IOC educational program on gambling in order to be allowed to participate in the Tokyo 2020 Games.