Belfast Telegraph

Boxers Conlan and Doherty sanctioned after betting on Olympic fights

Two boxers from Northern Ireland have been sanctioned for placing bets on fights at the Rio Olympics.

In a judgment released yesterday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) named Michael Conlan and Steven Donnelly as the two Irish fighters who violated its rules.

Donnelly was found to have placed two bets on his last 16 opponent Tuvshinbat Byamba to win - although the Irish welterweight ended up taking the victory.

Donnelly's explanation for betting against himself, given to the IOC in a hearing in Rio on August 15, was that "he had bet without intending to cheat by losing his match to win his bets, rather, winning the bets would be some compensation in the event he lost his match".

According to IOC documents, Conlan placed bets on Olympic boxing matches on August 8 and 9, and that at least two were in his own weight class.

The stakes were less than €250 and he didn't bet on his own bouts.

All the bets were lost although the judgment states that "they had created opportunities to make large amounts of money if they had been successful".

Conlan's betting account was suspended after the IOC found out.

Conlan and his father and trainer, John, as well as Olympic Council of Ireland officials were required to attend a hearing in Brazil on August 20, where Conlan admitted the offence.

He told the IOC that he had signed documents that stated the ban on Olympic betting "without reading them, thus he was in fact not aware of the prohibition".

He also said that betting was a hobby of his and he engaged in it during the Games for fun as "there was not much to do in the Olympic Village" and he had been "bored".

Conlan then expressed his regret and told the IOC that he would "help educate his fellow athletes using his own experience".

Participants are not permitted to bet on Olympic events.

The trio were said to have violated the Rio 2016 Rules on the Prevention of the Manipulation of Competitions.

In order to compete at the 2020 Games both boxers must demonstrate that they have been educated through an IOC programme.

However, Conlan has turned professional and Donnelly is likely to follow suit and both are unlikely to compete in Japan.

The OCI was also "sanctioned with reprimand" for not having properly informed its athletes about the content of the rules.

Donnelly, from Ballymena, represented Northern Ireland at the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games.

His medal hopes were dashed when he lost his welterweight quarter-final.

He went down to a split decision against Morocco's current world champion Mohammed Rabii.

London 2012 bronze medallist Conlan suffered a controversial bantamweight quarter-final defeat in Rio.

Belfast Telegraph


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