CRYMYCH boxing stars Ioan and Garan Croft were forced to pull the plug on their Olympic dream after being snubbed by the GB Boxing selectors.

The 22-year-old twins quit the GB training camp at Sheffield in protest after being snubbed in favour of an English team-mate for a forthcoming qualifier for the Paris games in Italy.

Ioan and Garan – who won gold and bronze respectively at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham – are now turning professional.

The identity of their new trainer will be unveiled this week.

The twins said news that Essex’s Lewis Richardson had been selected for next week’s Olympic qualifier in Italy – with Garan named as reserve – had prompted their decision to leave GB Boxing’s Sheffield headquarters after two years on the podium squad.

Ioan claimed that neither twin has been given a reason for their omission.

He said: “All we’ve ever had are excuses.

“For instance, I was told that our profile wasn’t high enough. Well, Garan and I have won six major medals at Commonwealth and European level between us which I would have thought was massive.”

Garan maintained GB Boxing performance director Robert McCracken felt he had not been active enough. “I’ve actually had seven bouts since mid-October,” he said. “I’ve been one of the most active members of the squad, if anything.

“I also won five of those bouts, only losing in two finals to home nations on split decisions. We both feel confused and let down, to be honest."

Over the last few years, the twins have repeatedly proved themselves to be among the most successful amateurs ever to emerge from Wales, however, Ioan said he had quickly reconciled himself to the knowledge that the Olympics were out of reach.

“Hand on heart, I can honestly say that I could not have done anything more to win an Olympic place,” he added.

“I will never have any regrets because I know I gave it 100 per cent – I just got my head down and never shirked training or cut corners, but it just wasn’t meant to be.

“In a sense our Olympic dream had already died because when the weight divisions were changed it meant we were both contesting that 71kg spot, although we would never fight each other, obviously.

“The long-term goal had always been for us both to get to the Games, but at different weights.”

The twins were first introduced to boxing as eight-year-olds by their dad, former Cardigan heavyweight Guy Croft, who remains head coach at the club.

“Dad is gutted about what’s happened – I think he’s actually more upset about it than we are,” said Ioan.

“It’s a shame because the two years we had at Sheffield were brilliant, we were well looked after, made a lot of friends and they wanted us to stay.

“Now we’re both really looking forward to the next chapter. We went to two of Joe Cordi-na’s world title fights in Cardiff and agreed we fancied some of that."

Garan said: “We’re lifelong Swansea City fans so fighting for a title at Stadi-um would be amazing.”

Cardigan ABC chairman Mike Lewis said an Olympic appearance would have been "the icing on the cake" for the twins’ "stellar" amateur careers.

He said: “To me, this is all horribly reminiscent of 1976, when Cardigan’s Chris Lawson narrowly lost out to England’s Dave Odwell for a place on the Montreal team.

“Chris was actually measured up for his Olympic blazer – that’s how close he was to get-ting on that plane to Canada."

Commenting on the twins' omission from the Olympic qualifier, a spokesperson for GB Boxing told the BBC: "These decisions are not taken lightly and the nature of elite sport means it is inevitable that some individuals will be disappointed with the outcome.

"However the panel has been clear and transparent in its reasoning and has acted in the best interests of GB Boxing in selecting those boxers which it feels currently have the best chance of qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games at the forthcoming competition in Italy."