Former OCI president Pat Hickey and boxer Michael Conlon
Johnny Watterson, in The Irish Times, reports:
An official Rio Olympics report from Irish boxing team manager Joe Hennigan claims that Irish management were informed during the boxing competition that fights at the games had been fixed.
It further claims that the medal hopes of one of our brightest prospects, Michael Conlan, were “gone” before he stepped into the ring.
The alarming claims were made in a three-page report, verified as authentic and seen by The Irish Times.
Hennigan, who was subsequently voted in as vice-president of the Irish Athletic Boxing Association in 2017, was given the information regarding fixing a day before Conlan was due to fight Russian opponent Vladmir Nikitin on August 16th. At the time Conlon was the World Amateur Bantamweight champion.
…Having been told the bout was already fixed, Hennigan describes his efforts to locate the then Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) president Pat Hickey in order to inform him and try to protect the interests of the Irish boxers.
[Hennigan in his report wrote] “…we tried on numerous occasions to see Pat Hickey to get him to intervene he was never available . . . I finally got to speak to him at an event the following day and explained the problem to him.”
…The OCI said they were unaware of any allegations of match-fixing and had not seen the boxing team manager’s report.
“The OCI is not aware of this report and yes would welcome a copy,” said a spokesperson. “The allegations of bout-fixing you refer to from the report are shocking.”
Former OCI president Pat Hickey could not be reached for comment.