Irish boxer suspended after failing drug test ahead of Rio Olympics

The news comes on the even of the Olympic opening ceremony

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Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

*Updated 18.45*

A member of Team Ireland's boxing delegation has allegedly failed a test for banned substances just days ahead of the start of the Olympics. 

A report in The Irish Examiner broke the news that the results of a test which were issued in recent days before the team left for Brazil came back with a potential violation for one of the male boxers.

Newstalk understands that the boxer at the centre of the allegations is current European Games Champion 22-year-old Michael O'Reilly from Portlaoise.

In a statement, the Irish Athletic Boxing Association said that they had learned of "an alleged violation of the Irish Anti-doping Rules committed by one of the boxers in our High Performance Unit."

Noting that they would be following strict procedures surrounding the anti-doping guidelines, the athlete at the center of the investigations has been provisionally suspended. 

However, they added that they "can request to have a 'B' sample tested, but cannot participate in any competition or activity prior to the completion of an investigation under Article 8 of the Irish Anti-doping Rules."

They added that "The Irish Athletic Boxing Association will not be in a position to comment further until all elements of due process associated with the anti-doping programme are completed in this case."

The Irish Olympic Council has also issued a statement saying that there was "an adverse analytical finding in an A-sample provided to anti-doping officers," but that the test was not conducted at the Olympic Games.

They state that the athlete faces a decision to "accept a sanction for a doping violation, to request that a B-sample be tested, or to appeal the provisional suspension."

At this stage, there is no confirmation on what the potential ban could be, but the athlete looks certain to miss the Olympic Games, given how close the news comes to the official start of the sporting event. Ireland's boxers are set to begin their Olympic campaigns in the ring on Saturday.