The IOC is currently investigating claims over Irish Olympic boxing gambling at the 2016 Olympic Games. Are the allegations true?
The Rio Olympic Games were not too kind to Irish boxers. First, former Olympic bronze medalist Paddy Barnes was eliminated after losing his first match. Then, Michael O’Reilly was disqualified from the games after failing a drug test. Finally, Ireland’s last boxing hopeful Michael Conlan was robbed of a victory when he took on Russian fighter Vladimir Nikitin.
None of Ireland’s boxers medaled in the games, a disappointing result for a country known for its strong boxing program. Now, Irish gambling news has surfaced that two Irish boxers are being investigated for Olympic gambling during the games.
The two boxers have not yet been named, but the aforementioned Paddy Barnes and Michael Conlan have stated they are not the boxers involved. It is not illegal for an athlete to bet on Olympic Games, but it is against the rules set by the International Olympic Committee.
The IABA is now waiting on the report to come out
IABA President Pat Ryan has commented on the allegations, telling reporters, “My immediate reaction was one of surprise.” Ryan stated that every Irish athlete knew about the ban on gambling, and understood that being caught would result in punishments.
“All the Olympians have signed contracts and the contracts are very explicit. There are regulations in it on gambling which bans them from participating in betting on Olympic events and providing inside information to gamblers. So it’s very explicit and they are fully aware of this regulation,” he said.
The punishments that the athletes receive will depend on the extent of their betting, and could vary from heavy fines to community service. The IABA is awaiting the full report before coming to any conclusions on sentencing.
What do you think of this news? Will this hurt Ireland’s Olympic boxing program moving forward? Leave your comments below, and make sure to check out GamingZion’s list of online sportsbooks in Ireland for a full list of the best websites to bet on your favorite sports!