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Irish Boxer Steven Donnelly Bet On Himself To Lose During The Olympics

Irish Boxer Steven Donnelly Bet On Himself To Lose During The Olympics
By Gavin Cooney Updated

The IOC today concluded their investigation into betting irregularities at the Olympics, and have found that Irish boxer Steven Donnelly placed eight cumulative bets during the Games, two of which were on his own match against Tuvshinbat Byamba.

Donnelly backed himself to lose the fight. An IOC release reads that "the bets placed were of a relatively low amount of money, yet they had created opportunities to make large amounts of money if they had been successful".

Donnelly won the fight against Byamba, and lost his next fight. He did not place a bet on his next fight.

Upon the opening of the investigation, the Irish boxer told an IOC disciplinary panel that he "had signed the various documents without reading them, thus he was in fact not aware of the prohibition", in relation to IOC eligibility condition form and the OCI team contract, which both state that betting is prohibited.

Donnelly told the IOC that he had placed bets to "pass the time" in the Olympic Village as there "was not much to do", also saying 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".

Donnelly accepted he had made an error and regretted it.

The Olympic Council of Ireland, for their part, accepted that they had placed more emphasis on the issue of doping than the prohibition of betting when preparing the athletes for the Games, and that they had failed to pass on the message of the IOC's education app for athletes.


The IOC have issued Donnelly with a "severe reprimand", and is required to show that, ahead of the Tokyo games, he has successfully followed the IOC's education programme.

The IOC also revealed that Michael Conlan violated rules in relation to betting on his own weight class, although none of these fights were his own. Conlan has been issued with a "severe reprimand" also.

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