Rio 2016: Michael Conlan 'not bothered' over possible AIBA disciplinary charges

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Ireland's Olympic team returns home to enthusiastic welcome

Irish bantamweight Michael Conlan is "not bothered" by the threat of disciplinary action over his reaction to his controversial Olympic defeat.

The 24-year-old made a one-fingered gesture to the judges after losing to Russia's Vladimir Nikitin in the quarter-finals in Rio.

International Boxing Association (AIBA) president Dr Ching-Kuo Wu has said "disciplinary action will follow".

"They can try to do what they want," said Conlan, now expected to turn pro.

"It doesn't bother me. I spoke the truth and how can they discipline me after more or less admitting what they did was wrong because they sacked the judges?"

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Michael Conlan makes his feelings clear after his controversial defeat

Conlan 'overwhelmed' by messages of support

After arriving at Dublin Airport with the majority of Ireland's Olympians, a relaxed Conlan held his 17-month-year-old daughter Luisne in his arms as a large crowd turned up to welcome the athletes.

"I still believe everything I said was the truth," said Conlan, who swore live on Irish television and claimed he was "robbed" and "cheated" after his defeat.

"If I hadn't said those things, even though it was a bit crazy, I would probably have a bit of regret now. I know what happened and what went on.

"I'm just happy to come back here and get a hero's welcome," added the Belfastman, who won last year's World Amateur title.

He added that he had received messages of support from as far away as Mongolia since the defeat.

"The support I have had has been overwhelming," he said. "It has made it a lot easier."

Conlan capable of 'multiple world titles'

Conlan's defeat ended hopes of any Irish boxing medals in Rio for the highly rated eight-strong team, after the successes of London 2012 when he and Paddy Barnes won bronze and Katie Taylor took gold.

The Irish boxing team's Games got off to a dreadful start as middleweight Michael O'Reilly was sent home after failing a drugs test, while medal hopefuls Barnes, Conlan, Taylor and Joe Ward were among those on the wrong end of judges' decisions.

"Some of us performed very well. Some of us didn't perform at all," added Conlan.

"At the same time, we weren't getting any decisions over there. Close decisions were going against us."

Conlan repeated his belief that he is capable of "winning multiple world titles" as a professional.

He said: "I'm confident I will have a successful future. I'll put the work in. This (setback) is only going to drive me on."

Light-flyweight Barnes, who has also been linked with a move to the professional ranks, said on Wednesday: "I don't know what I'm going to do now. But you haven't seen the end of Paddy Barnes."

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