IOC Reprimands 3 Olympic Boxers For Betting On Fights

The 2016 Olympics in Rio left a bad taste in a lot of boxing fans' mouths due to questionable judging, but now it's been revealed that even the boxers themselves were not playing by the rules.

Ireland's Michael Conlan and Steve Donnelly and Britain's Antony Fowler were reprimanded by the International Olympic Committee for violating anti-betting rules.

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The IOC said the three boxers were reprimanded because a disciplinary panel determined "there was no intent to manipulate any event." The athletes have apologized. According to the rules implemented by the IOC, athletes and officials are barred from betting on Olympic events and required to report any approach or suspicion of fixing.

Donnelly said in a hearing in front of the IOC that the reason behind his bets was that "he had bet without intending to cheat by losing his match to win his bets, rather, winning the bets would be some compensation in the event he lost his match."

It was revealed that Donnelly had bet on a total of 8 fights, 2 of which were on his own fight against Tuvshinbat Byamba. Conlan did not bet on fights in his on weight division, however, and the bets were at small amounts. Conlan said that he bets as a hobby and was bored at the Olympic Village.

While the amounts were small and the fighters did not win any of their bets, the IOC is still upset at the rules violation.

"They had created opportunities to make large amounts of money if they had been successful," the IOC said.

Fowler, who lost his only fight in Rio as a middleweight, made seven bets, including at least one on a teammate, according to the IOC. He won three of the bets, which ranged between 30 pounds ($39) and 300 pounds ($390). Fowler told the IOC he knew he couldn't bet on his own fights, but wasn't aware of the overall ban on betting, saying he wanted to "make a bit of money." 

Conlan had already turned pro, signing with Bob Arum's Top Rank promotions last week and will likely not receive any real disciplinary actions from the Olympic committee as he's no longer eligible to compete in the Olympics.


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