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Michael Conlan defeat: Shamed AIBA already in a deep hole but still they keep on digging

By John Laverty

Picture yourself driving a nail into a wall and the hammer slipping, pulverising your thumb instead.

Or tootling along in your car, doing everything right, and some idiot suddenly cuts you off.

Most of us can imagine the words uttered. In the first instance, out of shock; in the second, out of anger.

What they have in common, of course, is the copious use of the asterix key should they ever be published in a family newspaper.

Now picture yourself in a situation where you're on course to achieve your lifetime ambition, where everything is falling into place, where all the hard work, all the pain, the early mornings, the sacrifices, the enforced exile from your loving family, looks like it's paying off.

And then someone - or, rather three people - take it away from you. Just like that. Ruthlessly, mercilessly - and, as everyone knows, incontrovertibly wrong.

It's not easy to condone Michael Conlan's expletive-ridden rant when his dream morphed into nightmare within a matter of seconds in Rio last week.

But it's very easy to understand the shock, then the anger, then the sense of unfairness, of helplessness that there was nothing he could do about it, and then the crushing reality that it really was all over.

Those feelings hit him a lot harder than his Russian opponent managed during a fight millions believed the Belfast man had won and three - the only three that mattered, the judges - didn't.

Conlan can hold his head high.

The International Boxing Association should hang theirs in shame but, instead, buried them in the sand.

And now, good old Doctor Wu, the president, is threatening our boy with disciplinary action.

What a misguided, ill-advised, self-important shower the AIBA are, led by someone who, up until a day or so ago, was Doctor Who.

They never know when to stop digging because none of them have the wit to realise they're in a hole in the first place.

Belfast Telegraph


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