Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

17.21 26 Mar 2020


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There has been renewed criticism of the decision to hold the European Olympic boxing qualifier during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Six individuals who represented their countries at London's Copper Box Arena have now contracted COVID-19.

The Croatian Boxing Federation have joined their Turkish counterparts in revealing members of their team have been struck down with the virus.

The qualifier was suspended after the third day of action in London as the realities of the pandemic finally began to hit home in the UK.

Ireland sent a team of 13 boxers to the tournament, but at time of writing none have come forward with positive tests.

The Croatian Boxing Federation's Marko Marovic told the BBC that one boxer and two of its coaches have contracted coronavirus.

"Our epidemiologist says they were most probably infected during [the] Tokyo 2020 qualifier", Marovic explained.

All three have quarantined and are in a "stable" condition.

Marovic added, "Our first concern is the health of our boxing family. We are still praying that everything ends well and there will be no other positive tests."

The IOC had already been accused of being "irresponsible" by allowing the qualifier in London to go ahead in the first place.

Two Turkish boxers and one coach had tested positive.

Turkish Boxing Federation president Eyup Gozgec told The Guardian, "While the whole world was taking extreme measures to deal with the virus, I am baffled that an IOC taskforce and the British government allowed the tournament to start even though many of us had concerns and almost every other sport had shut down."

Gozgec even told the BBC, "We didn't see any hygienic standards there. There were no preventative measures."

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