Irish betting scandal at Olympics
There was bad new today from the Irish Olympic camp as a betting scandal has broke which threatens to see one athlete sent home in disgrace.
It’s probably the last thing team Ireland need on the opening day of the Olympics but it now looks that another fiasco is brewing which will see a media circus possibly upsetting other team members.
It comes as the Irish Independent uncovered some evidence that an unnamed Irish athlete in a previous event made two bets backing an opponent to win an event in which they were in direct competition.
The athlete then withdrew a sum of €3,626 after returning from the event having placed a number of bets from their personal account with a bookmaker, getting their opponent on odds of 12/1.
These allegations were made over e-mail and a probe is now being launched.
OCI president Pat Hickey has confirmed that the organisation has received an allegation against a member of Team Ireland and have been seeking legal advice as well as being in contact with the athlete’s solicitor.
The athlete in question could be expelled from the games if the allegations are verified.
Hickey said the matter was one that had grave sanctions if proven true while adding “This is fraught with legal issues and, right now, our priority is not to cause any unnecessary upset to the competitors.”
It wraps up a pretty crappy few days for the OCI, with the controversy over the selection of the women’s 400metre relay team and Joe Ward’s failed appeal to the Court of Arbitration of Sport over him failing to get a wildcard selection in boxing yesterday.
Showjumper Dennis Lynch will also find out tonight if his appeal against his replacement by Cian O’Connor for his horse testing positive for hypersensitivity is successful or not. (Ironically O’Connor’s Olympic gold was stripped from him 2004, over drugs offences violated by his horse Waterford Crystal.)
Sadly you just wouldn’t bet against an Irish scandal at the Olympics every four years.