Michael O'Reilly vows to get back in the ring after Olympic drug ban

The middleweight boxer is facing a four-year ban after testing positive for a banned substance

BY Sinéad Farrell 14:41 Sunday 18 September 2016, 14:41 18 Sep 2016

©INPHO/Ryan Byrne 

Boxer Michael O'Reilly says he will strive to get back in the ring despite facing a four-year ban for failing a drugs test ahead of the Rio Olympics.

At present, the Tipperary native is in danger of being slammed with a four-year ban which if enforced, would prohibit him from competing against any boxers in the Irish system. He would also be banned from boxing against fighters from outside Ireland.

Additionally, O'Reilly is set to lose some €20,000 in State funding which was due to be paid later this year. Half of the €40,000 had already been distributed prior to the Olympics as part of the podium grant system.

Speaking to the Sunday World for the first time since his expulsion from the Games, the 23-year-old said he will fight the charges.

"I will be back in the ring. I will [box] again… when this is all over.  I’ll release a statement and that’ll be very shortly."

Expectations were high for O'Reilly coming into the Games, having already flourished at the European Games and the World Championships where he medalled. There were also hints that O'Reilly would progress to the professional ranks after the Olympics. Those plans have now been compromised as O'Reilly may not be able to box competitively until he is 27 if the maximum sentence is carried out.

O'Reilly has said that the supplement in question was given to him by 'someone unrelated to his team or his association.'

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