Welsh boxer Sean McGoldrick set for Commonwealth gold

Sean McGoldrick
McGoldrick (right) narrowly lost out to Wanniarachchi

Welsh boxer Sean McGoldrick looks set to be awarded a belated 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games gold medal following the disqualification of Sri Lankan bantamweight rival Manju Wanniarachchi.

McGoldrick, from Newport, suffered a narrow defeat in the final.

But the Commonwealth Games Federation has nullified Wanniarachchi's results after he failed a drugs test.

Wanniarachchi can appeal the decision to strip Sri Lanka of their sole gold medal of the Games.

McGoldrick, who at 18 was the youngest of Wales' nine-man boxing team at the Games in Dehli, lost the 56kg weight-division final on countback.

Wanniarachchi's gold medal was his country's first in boxing in 72 years and he was hailed as a national hero when he returned home.

The 31-year-old carried out an anti-doping test during last October's Games and his sample was found to contain 19-Norandrosterone, a prohibited anabolic agent under the World Anti-Doping Agency's (Wada) list of prohibited substances.

The Sri Lankan fighter was due to appear before the Federation Court in Jamaica in January, but the hearing was postponed until 8 May, 2011 when officials met in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Federation court chairman, and CGF vice-president, HRH Tunku Imran, said: "The Federation Court has given decision but under the CGF anti-doping standards there is now a 21-day window for the athlete to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

"We understand that this has been a long process for all involved and we hope that it is finalised as soon as possible."

Wanniarachchi could face further punishment after CGF anti-doping officials referred the matter to the International Boxing Association.

Sri Lanka's sports minister Mahindananda Alutgamage said that an internal investigation had concluded that Wanniarachchi had taken the drug inadventently.

"However, based on the report, we banned him from boxing," Alutgamage told the BBC Tamil Service.

The minister added that he did not believe the case would have any negative impact on Sri Lanka's bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The Sri Lankan city of Hambantota is competing with Gold Coast in Australia to stage the 2018 event. Both will present their final bids at Kuala Lumpur on 10 May.

"We are very confident of getting the opportunity to host the 2018 Games," Alutgamage said.

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