Team Ireland manager Joe Hennigan, now a member of the IABA board, has revealed he was told during the Rio 2016 Olympics Michael Conlan would not win a medal.
According to Hennigan, who released an explosive report, Conlan’s run at the Games was predetermined in order to ensure the Irishman didn’t claim a prize in Brazil.
Conlan lost out to Vladimir Nikitin in a contest which seemed to herald a no-brainer result in favor of the Belfast man
Outlining how he was informed, Hennigan said: “We went back to the village that evening and Zauri informed me that the Russian coach had told him that Michael Conlan’s medal was gone as were others and we would want to protect our boxers.
“Following this 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,” he continued in his report published by The Irish Times.
Hennigan has also claimed the block affected Katie Taylor, now a world champion as a professional.
Taylor crashed out in the quarter-final stage despite being an overwhelming favourite to make the final.
“It was sickening to think we definitely lost two contests (Conlan and Taylor) because of corruption and you would argue Joe Ward’s one as well with bad refereeing.
“As per AIBA rules we could not complain about the judges’ decisions,” confirmed Hennigan.
Credit: Mikey Williams
Conlan, who is set for his latest outing in the paid ranks this weekend, at the time had given his infamous middle figure gestures and spoken to press in South America.
“Amateur boxing stinks from the core right to the top,” blasted Conlan.
A complete overhaul of the amateur has been promised by the next Olympic Games but could be academic after a threat to remove the sport completely from Tokyo 2020.