AN Irish boxer has been provisionally suspended from competing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games after an alleged anti-doping violation. Named as 75kgs Michael O’Reilly, the middleweight was handed a provisional suspension on the eve of the Opening Ceremony. The ban comes after an adverse analytical finding in an A-sample taken before the Olympics. The boxer can however request to have a B sample tested but cannot participate in competition or training before the investigation is completed.

“The Irish Athletic Boxing Association has always maintained a zero tolerance approach todoping and Irish Boxing has been one of the most widely tested sports by the National Anti-Doping Programme over the last number of years,” the IABA said in a statement. “IABA’s policy is that doping is contrary to the spirit of sport and every member of the association has a duty to ensure that the sport is free of doping. We ensure our boxers are available for testing in and out of competition.”

O’Reilly is in a competitive weight class but could have become an Olympic medallist. He impressed last year when he won the European Games and beat Kazakhstan’s Zhanibek Alimkhanuly in the Worlds, though he lost a third place box-off to qualify for Rio. He reportedly faced disciplinary issues at the qualification event in Turkey earlier this year but took his last chance to win a place at Rio at the World qualifier in Baku in June. Now however he could miss out entirely.