Boxing body awaits outcome of IOC inquiry into alleged gambling

IABA chief Pat Ryan ‘appalled’ by claims two Irish boxers bet on Rio 2016 Olympics events

The Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) has said it is awaiting the outcome of an investigation into allegations that two Irish boxers at the Rio Olympics were engaged in gambling before it decides its response.

The boxers are facing disciplinary action from the International Olympic Committee for alleged gambling activities during the Rio Games.

IABA president Pat Ryan confirmed on Sunday he was informed of the allegations by the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI).

“My immediate reaction was one of surprise,” he said.

Speaking on RTÉ's This Week programme, he said he had been "appalled" at the allegations because the authority had enough matters to concern itself with in relation to the Rio Olympics.

A source within the OCI confirmed on Friday night that the boxers were reprimanded for a breach of the code of ethics by betting on Olympic sports between July 24th and August 24th.

‘Awaiting a report’

Asked whether the boxers had allegedly been involved in betting on boxing or on other events and whether this happened while they were in the Olympic village, Mr Ryan said: “At the moment I am awaiting a report from the International Olympic Committee and when completed and when I receive the manager’s report of the Olympic team, we’ll be in a better position to answer those questions.”

He confirmed that all athletes going to Rio had been aware it was against the rules and in contravention of their contracts to bet on events.

“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,” Mr Ryan said.

‘Very explicit’

“The contracts have been really very explicit and they have been fully informed of the contract’s content.”

Mr Ryan said sanctions would depend on the extent of the betting and what occurred, but these could vary from fines to attending workshops, seminars and “education programmes”.

He added the IOC would impose whatever sanctions it deemed necessary. When the IABA received “all the relevant information and reports” on the matter it would also take “the appropriate action”.

“We have our own disciplinary procedure and that will be followed,” he said.

Mr Ryan said the IABA expected the IOC’s report “over the next couple of weeks”.

“I think it’s important and appropriate that we allow due process to take place before we make any further comment,” he added.

He had not spoken to the boxers, but intended to.

“I think over the next coming days we will get an opportunity to discuss all matters pertaining to this issue with the boxers.”

Mr Ryan voiced support for the OCI’s recent regulations regarding gambling.

“Basically it bans participants from betting on Olympic events and from providing inside information to gamblers. I think this regulation would be very appropriate for us to implement as part of our policy and procedures.”

On the controversies involving the scoring and judging of fights in Rio involving Irish boxers Katie Taylor and Michael Conlan, Mr Ryan said he believed the Irish boxing body was "duty-bound" to make a submission to the International Boxing Association.