Simon Clegg, Team GB Chef de Mission said:
â€œThe Amateur Boxing Association (ABA) choosing to yesterday (Wednesday) issue Billy Joe Saunders with a suspension relating to an incident which happened months before the Beijing Olympic Games is extremely disappointing. Releasing such allegations to the media at this time could prove detrimental to the critical preparations of the other three boxers who will be contesting to reach the final of the boxing competition tomorrow.
“We are frustrated that our athletes and the boxing coaching team will have to deal with this added pressure and distraction at this point in the Games. Nobody involved with boxing should be distracting the team at this time.
“Not since the Munich Olympic Games in 1972 has Team GB won three boxing medals, and the achievements of James DeGale, Tony Jeffries and David Price in reaching the semi-finals and thus guaranteeing at least three bronze medals is fantastic. Three medals and seven boxers competing in the Olympic Games is a testament to the work and dedication from Head Coach Terry Edwards and his support staff towards the British Boxing Programme.
“Team GB will ensure that the boxing team have every support necessary over the next few days to be able to focus on the job in hand.â€
Terry Edwards, GB Head Coach said:
â€œMy focus over the next 48 hours is to prepare my three boxers for their semi-final bouts tomorrow (Friday). The allegations made in the media about the conduct of athletes on the British Boxing Programme are, on the whole, unfounded. I feel extremely disillusioned that I have learnt of the suspension of one of my boxers from the media. Above all though, I am so sad that this, together with the other allegations made, have been raised to distract and unsettle me, the coaching team, and more importantly my boxers ahead of the most important bouts of their lives.
“Over the past four years I have put together a Boxing Programme which has produced the best ever Commonwealth Games results, three World Championship medallists, the most qualifiers for the Olympic Games since 1992, and the most Olympic medal winners since 1972. But more importantly I have tried to instil in my team a respect for themselves and others, and a sense of pride in competing for their country. I will thoroughly address all allegations made when I get back to the UK. Right now, I have three boxers who are fighting to win gold medals for Team GB, and I will not allow anything to distract my lads from what they need to do in the ring.â€
For further information please call Louisa Huddy on +86 1507 720 4295
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