TEAM IRELAND’S preparations for the Olympics Games have been thrown into chaos following the revelation of a failed drugs test within the boxing team.
Boxing is traditionally Ireland’s strongest sport at the Games and with seven participants – including big names such as Katie Taylor, Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes – medals are expected.
However, 23-year-old Michael O’Reilly is the subject of a drugs scandal after it emerged on Thursday that one member of Team Ireland’s boxing crew has been provisionally suspended for testing positive.
He may yet be able to compete at Rio though - here’s what we know so far:
Although his name has been dragged through the mud, no official governing body has named O’Reilly in any of their statements as they are not permitted to unless a ‘B’ sample returns the same result, or if he admits wrongdoing.
The failed drugs test took place in Ireland before he jetted off to Rio for the Olympics.
The Portlaoise Boxing Club member has two options from here; he can request to have his ‘B’ sample tested if he considers himself clean, or he can accept the sanctions.
He is expected to inform the authorities to test his ‘B’ sample, according to RTE, within 48 hours of being informed of the test result on Thursday.
O’Reilly is scheduled to fight on August 12, but whether or not he can compete depends on the outcome of his ‘B’ sample test, should he ask for his urine to be double-checked.
He tweeted ‘Box on the 12th in the last 16 against the winner of Mexico or Iraq.....’ on Thursday, before deleting the tweet after news of his failed drugs test surfaced.
O’Reilly has a troublesome background in amateur boxing. In 2011, he was dropped by the IABA for Ireland's European Youth Championship for an ‘incident of indiscipline’ after failing to show for a training camp.
He subsequently took legal action against the IABA for the decision to drop him, and won his case as the High Court found the governing body guilty of acting beyond their powers.
In 2015, O'Reilly and compatriot Dean Walsh were sent home from the World Championships for breaching team rules with misbehaviour.