Life after Rio: Banned boxer Michael O'Reilly

Life after Rio: Banned boxer Michael O'Reilly
Michael O’Reilly. ‘From all the medals and success, and then one silly mistake, they went to town’ Picture: Dylan Vaughan

Michael O’Reilly was an Olympic gold medal contender until he tested positive for a steroid and was sent home from Rio in disgrace. A four-year ban and two high-profile brushes with the law followed

Two years. It was in an auditorium in a Rio de Janeiro shopping centre where the draw for the Olympic boxing tournament was taking place that the news broke and the whispers echoed. An Irish Examiner scoop had correctly revealed that one of the Irish team had failed a doping test, with the story leaked before even head coach Zaur Antia received word. In attendance, Antia got up, pale and scrambling for a phone, as Michael O’Reilly’s name entered the middleweight draw. All with the timing of a film script.

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