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Michael Conlan calls for Rio 2016 boxing decisions to be overturned in wake of report

Michael Conlan Rio

Michael Conlan has said he feels vindicated after a report stated that “approximately nine bouts” were found to be suspicious at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Irish bantamweight boxer Conlan was controversially knocked out at the quarter-final stage of the 2016 Olympics by Vladimir Nikitin, in a fight which the Belfast man had clearly won.

Conlan was furious in the aftermath of the fight, accusing Aiba of corruption on RTE afterwards, while Nikitin was unable to compete in the semi-finals due to injuries he sustained in his fight with the Irishman.

The now-professional featherweight boxer was speaking to the BBC after a report commissioned by Aiba confirmed that many bouts had been judged in a “suspicious” manner, calling it a “massive day” for the sport.

Michael Conlan on a ‘massive day’ for amateur boxing.

“It’s been a long time coming, but I’m delighted. I didn’t expect this to happen, but the fact that it has and my fight has been called out, it’s not news to me, but it’s good news,” Conland said.

“It’s a massive day for amateur boxing and for Olympic sport. The black mark of Rio will always sit there and the thought of ‘what could have been’ will always be there for me.”

Conlan brought plenty of attention to possible corruption in amateur boxing with his post-fight rant, while the gold medal heavyweight fight between Russia’s Evgeny Tishchenko and Kazakhstan’s Vasily Levit also resulted in uproar.

Aiba was not involved at the 2020 Olympics as a result of the potential for corruption, as the IOC created a Boxing Task Force to run the sport at the Tokyo games instead.

The 29-year-old believes that these changes may not have happened if he hadn’t spoken out five years ago in Rio.

‘I’d be more than happy to receive an Olympic medal.

“I think if I hadn’t said what I said – and done what I did – this probably wouldn’t be happening now so it’s a huge day, especially for the guys who suffered in Rio, including myself. It’s vindication,” Conlan commented.

“At the same time, it stole a dream that I had since I was a kid of being an Olympic champion. That ‘what if’ will always be there.

“I just hope now the decisions can be overturned because I wasn’t the only one. I’d be more than happy to receive an Olympic medal and that would be a bit of justice in itself.

“I’d love that to happen, to be upgraded and get a medal. Even if I don’t get a medal, if they said I was number three at the games, that would be good.”

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