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Irish gold medal boxer Gabriel Dossen up on drug dealing charge

The Sunday World can reveal that accomplished sportsman Gabriel Dossen (22) was arrested in Galway city

Gabriel Dossen celebrates with his gold medal and belt after his victory at the European Championships

Dossen with his mum Meserk Moti

Gabriel with his coach Zaur Antia© SPORTSFILE

Dossen in the Euros© SPORTSFILE

Eugene MastersonSunday World

A young boxer who won a gold medal for Ireland at the European Championships in May is due in court on drugs charges.

The Sunday World can reveal that accomplished sportsman Gabriel Dossen was arrested in Galway city.

Dossen (22) is at the centre of an ongoing case before Galway District Court, charged with possession of drugs and possession of drugs for sale or supply.

The case is due back up on October 12 in Galway.

Sources say the charges relate to alleged offences involving cannabis on March 3 last year at Cartur Mor, Knocknacarra in Galway city.

In May, Dossen represented Ireland at the European Amateur Boxing Championships in Yerevan, Armenia, where he won a gold medal at middleweight.

Dossen with his mum Meserk Moti

The southpaw was representing his country for the first time as a senior at a major international tournament and was awarded a unanimous decision in the 75kg final against England’s Lewis Richardson.

Dossen was given a hero’s welcome back in Galway, and was featured on RTÉ news.

He was Ireland’s only gold medal winner among 10 representatives at those championships.

Just 10 Irish boxers have won gold medals at European championship level.

Speaking to RTE after the victory, Dossen said it was hard to take it all in.

“I don’t think it has really kicked in yet that I’m European champion,” he said. “It just feels like another win.

“My phone has blown up. It all feels so surreal.”

Gabriel with his coach Zaur Antia© SPORTSFILE

He claimed that his success was built on a foundation of hard work.

“I went over to a camp in Italy and I sparred really well,” Dossen added. “I had unreal spars with the world champions the weight above and weight below.

“I worked really hard, trained twice a day. I put myself down as a high performance athlete.”

Gabriel was born in a refugee camp in the Ivory Coast to his mother, who hails from the Oromia region of Ethiopia. His father is originally from Liberia.

As a baby, he and his mother stowed away on a ship, which ended up in Dublin Port. The pair then went through the asylum process and ended up living initially in Dublin, then Kildare and finally Galway.

Dossen has four siblings, some of whom are also prominent local sports figures.

Dossen currently fights with the Olympic Boxing Club in Galway, having formerly fought with the Furbo Boxing Club in Spiddal.

The 6ft 2ins sportsman won bronze in the 2016 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships as a light welterweight, and bronze at the 2017 EUBC European Youth Championships.

He has also competed in GAA, soccer, athletics and swimming.

Dossen now hopes to represent Ireland at the 2024 Olympics in Paris but may have to bulk up to 80kg to light heavyweight as there is no middleweight division pencilled in for those games.

Dossen in the Euros© SPORTSFILE

Boxing industry sources say the middleweight division is being axed to equalise representation in female categories.

Galway Mayor Colette Connolly was among those who congratulated Dossen at a welcome home reception in his local club.

Elite boxers have been nurtured and coached by the Olympic Boxing Club in Galway, including Francie Barrett, who was Ireland’s flag bearer at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

In 2021 Dossen received a grant of €8,000 from Sport Ireland, but this year — even though he was training for the European Championships and eventually won gold — he received nothing.

The young boxer currently lives in the Knocknacarra area of Galway and is a business studies student at Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest in Athlone, having previously studied in Galway IT.

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