Bernard Dunne believes the doping allegations surround Irish boxer Michael O'Reilly will not affect his team-mates in Rio, and backed "the best boxing team we’ve sent to a Games" to deliver medals.

Sources close to the boxer have told RTÉ News that he intends to fight a ban on competing in Rio after it was alleged he had tested positive for a banned substance. he tested positive for a banned substance ahead of the Games. 

The 23-year-old has been provisionally suspended from the Games, and the incident has cast a cloud over Team Ireland's preparations.

However former WBA and European Super Bantamweight champion Dunne said the intense focus the fighters bring to competition means all external noise wil lbe completely blanked out once the action finally begins.

Speaking on RTÉ 2's overage of the opening ceremony in Rio, Dunne said: “They’re a close team. They live together, they train together, they do everything together.

"They’ve lost one of their family members, but I think once you step in that ring, once you weigh in, all of a sudden the game face comes on.

"You start to focus in, you start to think about yourself, the process of how you’re going to perform and what your tactics are.

"Michael O’Reilly unfortunately will be cast aside and forgotten about by his team-mates because they’ve got to focus on themselves right now."

Dunne urged the Irish public to weigh in behind Team Ireland in their quest for glory over the next fortnight.

With some genuine medal hopes in the ring - as well as the likes of Rob Heffernan and Ciara Mageean eyeing strong performances - the Dubliner is hoping someone can lift the national mood. 

"It’s so unfortunate this has happened," he said. "This was one of the bankers I thought for a medal going into the Games and all of a sudden this gets thrown out there.

“We’ve got our greatest female athlete, Katie Taylor, going for her second gold medal; Paddy Barnes in his third Games is going for his third medal, what an athlete.

"Michael Conlan, (Steven) Donnelly, (Brendan) Irvine, (David Oliver) Joyce, big Joe Ward – that is the best boxing team we’ve sent to a Games.

"They’ve got great potential to bring home medals. We just need to get behind them now."