Confirmation yesterday that Michael O’Reilly – and his advisers – have lodged an appeal against his temporary suspension following a failed A test in Dublin before the team set out for Rio.
In a late twist, the Clonmel-born Middleweight has decided to ask for the B sample to be tested though this usually takes between 2 and 4 days.
As we reported yesterday this will leave little time IF he is successful to participate in any pre-bout training since he is due in the ring on Friday. In addition it is understood that there remains
A possibility that if the appeal IS successful, either the AIBA OR WADA could refer it to the Court of Arbitration and that could delay matters even further though the CAS team is ‘in situ’ in Rio.
His Portlaoise BC coach Pat Ryan is now in Rio, to meet up with his boxer though the IABA has stressed that Ryan’s visit is one long planned and is in his capacity as President of the IABA and not related to the
O’Reilly saga. It has long been accepted practice that Presidents of AIBA Federations are invited as guests of the IOC and AIBA.
It will though be difficult for Pat Ryan to avoid the world’s media – especially those from Ireland – who are anxious for answers yet clearly Ryan can say nothing that would in any way prejudice the outcome of O’Reilly’s appeal thus highly unlikely anything new will arise from any meeting with the Press & TV contingent. He is sure to be asked though about why IABA Interim Head Coach Zuar Antia and his fellow coaches were kept in the dark whether by the Sport Ireland organisation, by the Olympic Council OR indeed by Ryan’s own IABA. Clearly the Sports Minister (Shane Ross) has prior warning so why did that not reach Antia and his team?
It must be said that though Georgian Antia remained in the dark re O’Reilly he has done a great job in ensuring that the other members of the team concentrated on their own forthcoming bouts and evidence of this came in the form of early wins for Donnelly and Joyce.
Meanwhile just to go back to Sunday’s fine performances from Steven Donnelly and David Oliver Joyce – this report filed by the IABA’s PRO (from Ireland) :
“David Oliver Joyce made it two wins on the trot for Ireland at the Olympic Games in Rio Sunday night.
The St Michael’s Athy BC lightweight beat Andrique Allisop on a unanimous decision – 30-37,29-28-30-27.
The man from the Seychelles, a two time Olympian, made a solid start, but Joyce, operating behind a high guard and working the body in the early exchanges, began to find his range and distance in the latter part of the frame to find the target with hooks off both hands.
Allisop needed attention to a cut over his left eye after an accidental elbow in the second, a round which Joyce, again detonating hooks, edged on a split, leaving the St Michael’s Athy man two rounds up on two cards going into the third, a frame which Joyce won on all three cards to cap a fine performance against a tricky opponent.
He’ll now meet former AIBA World Elite champion Albert Selimov of Azerbaijan, who claimed a World title for Russia in Chicago in 2007.
Meeting a World champion won’t phase Joyce, however as the three-time EU champion has beaten Italy’s ex AIBA World champion Domenico Valentino twice, once in the World Series and once in regular amateur boxing, in the past.
“The first one is always the toughest to get out of the way,” said Joyce, who has also won and lost against his former Irish team mate Carl Frampton, the current World featherweight champion.
“I’m delighted the way it went. We knew it was going to be ups and downs, but I’m just delighted.
“This is where I’m meant to be- I missed out on the last two Olympics and this is where I’m meant to be and this is where I want to be and I’m going to enjoy every moment of it.”
Earlier Ballymena welter Donnelly outclassed Zahir Kedache of Algeria to book his ticket into the last 16 versus Tuvshinbat Byamba of Mongolia.
Donnelly won every stanza to advance after a superb display of footwork, speed and shot selection, particularly in the second round.
The Irish welter, occasionally switching to southpaw, was awarded one 10-8 frame en route to a 29-28,30-26,30-27 decision.
The durable North African sent a few ‘Hail Mary hooks’ whizzing past Donnelly’s head throughout today’s three-rounder, but the Ulster ace was alert to anything his opponent was throwing at him and is thrilled with his first Olympic win.
He said: “It’s always good to get the first one out of the way. The pressure and stuff, everyone back home watching.
“I was comfortable. He was a crafty southpaw and I just had to listen to my coaches in the corner, use my jab, feint.
“The spirit in the camp is fantastic. This is only the start of the journey and hopefully I can keep that going and do the country proud.
“I’ll be better next time,” vowed Donnelly after a world class Olympic debut.
Meanwhile, Andrea Mina (Ecuador) beat Germany’s Serge Michel and will meet Joe Ward in the last 16 in midweek.
Paddy Barnes will be between the ropes this (Monday)evening versus Spain’s Samuel “El Infierno” Carmona in the light-fly class and looking to join Katie Taylor in the quarter-finals.
Carmona beat his compatriot Martin Molina en route to gold at the 2015 Spanish Championships and in the Totana Cup final earlier this year. Barnes, boxing at flyweight, beat Molina in the Algirdas Socikas final in Lithuania last March.
If Ireland’s flag bearer at the Rio Games beats the Madrid orthodox in Rio he will be one victory away from becoming the first Irish athlete to claim three successive Olympic medals.
Both Donnelly and Joyce were making their Olympic debuts on Sunday”