A representative of Joe Ward has said the Moate boxer won't be making any comment to the media during the Olympics, after a last-gasp appeal against his exclusion from the London games proved unsuccessful last week.
The 18-year-old's agent, Frank Walsh, told the Westmeath Independent on Monday that neither he nor Ward was prepared to make any comment to the media while the games were in progress.
Last Wednesday Mr Walsh, who is a solicitor based in Bray, led an appeal on Ward's behalf to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which was sitting at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.
The hearing of case began at 9 o'clock that night and continued until 1.30am, but the faint hope of Ward making a dramatic late entry to the Olympics was dashed when the CAS published its verdict on Thursday evening.
The court said it "lacked jurisdiction" to deal with Ward's application, but "even if (it) had jurisdiction to decide the matter, the application would have to be dismissed on the merits too."
The first Olympic bouts in Ward's Light Heavyweight (81kg) division took place on Monday, and there were wins for at least two boxers whom the Moate man has beaten. Australian Damien Hooper, who was comfortably outpointed by Ward in the final of the world youth championships in 2010, won his opening bout on a score of 13-11. Chinese fighter Fanlong Meng, who was beaten 9-2 by Ward at a tournament in Wexford last year, also won his opening bout on a score of 17-8.
Ward didn't qualify for the Olympics in two attempts, first losing on a countback to Iranian Ehsan Rouzbahani after their bout finished level (15-15) at the world championships in Baku last October.
In April, the Farnagh native's second potential route to the Olympics was closed when he lost a highly controversial decision to a Turkish opponent at a qualification tournament in Turkey.
Neither the Irish Amateur Boxing Association or the Olympic Council of Ireland were involved in Ward's appeal to the CAS last week, the hearing of which was attended by representatives of the International Olympic Committee and the International Amateur Boxing Association.
The boxer was represented by Walsh and a barrister, David Casserly. They argued, firstly, that "the qualification process was flawed" on the grounds that a Montenegran boxer, Bosko Draskovic, did not meet the relevant criteria for the Tripartite (or 'wildcard') Olympic place which he was awarded in the 81kg division.
The appeal contended that this 'wildcard' place should be reallocated to the next best ranked athlete at last year's world championships who hasn't qualified for the games. It asserted that this athlete was Ward.
The appeal also argued that Ward's "personality rights were violated because the refereeing in the April Olympic Qualification Tournament in Turkey was corrupt and, thus, he was unjustly eliminated."
In a letter written by Walsh to the International Olympic Committee on July 5, it was stated that Ward was "greatly distressed not to be competing in the forthcoming Olympic Games."
To support the appellant's bid, an offer was made to provide testimony at the hearing from Ward, his coach Eddie Bolger, and "an anonymous witness supporting his allegations of corruption."
The CAS refused to hear any evidence relating to the alleged corruption, saying it did not deem itself to have jurisdiction on this matter.
In its 13-page report on the case, the CAS decided that it "lacked jurisdiction" to deal with Ward's application. However, it stated that even if the Montenegran boxer, Draskovic, had not been granted his 'wildcard' Olympic place it still would not have gone to Ward as he was not the "next best ranked athlete" at the 2011 AIBA world championships.
It said the ranking in question was based specifically on a boxer's performance at last October's world championships, where Ward was beaten at the last 16 stage. In the AIBA's world rankings, which are based on boxers' overall records, Ward is currently ranked fourth. Incidentally, the 'wildcard' recipient, Draskovic, was beaten in his first Olympic bout on Monday.
Concluding its report, CAS reiterated that Ward had opportunities to qualify for the Olympics at last year's world championships and at April's tournament in Turkey.
"Unfortunately, he was unable to fight in these tournaments at the level that could have been expected of him," the report said. "Mr Ward complained that he was treated unfairly at several stages in the qualification process but his case... failed to pass this panel's scrutiny."
Inside the ring, Westmeath native John Joe Nevin's Olympics got off to a perfect start last Saturday when he defeated Denmark's Denis Ceylan. The Mullingar native looked sharp from the outset and won the contest on an emphatic score of 21-6. Nevin will now face Kazakhstan's Kanat Abutalipov in a bout which is due to take place at approximately 2pm today (Wednesday).