Michael D. Higgins hosts Irish Olympians, calls for 'fearless response' to Olympic scandals 4 years ago

Michael D. Higgins hosts Irish Olympians, calls for 'fearless response' to Olympic scandals

President Michael D. Higgins has called for a "fearless response" to the various scandals that plagued Ireland's 2016 Olympics.

The remarks were made as part of a speech the President gave while hosting Ireland's Olympians at Áras an Uachtaráin.

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After congratulating our Olympians, Higgins discussed the serious issues exposed during the Olympics "both here in Ireland and amongst the entire Olympic Family."

"Issues of doping, alas never far from the Olympic story in recent years, questionable decision making by referees and judges during the games, and the controversy around the administration of our sports all deserve serious analysis and fearless responses here at home and internationally."

In a full-throated appraisal of Ireland's Olympics, which involved drugs, corrupt judging decisions and an illegal ticketing scandal, Higgins said "if not adequately addressed, has the potential to undermine public confidence in our athletes, in our sporting administration and in the fairness of international sporting competition itself."

Corruption was not the entire theme of the speech, however, and Higgins warmly commended our athletes for their efforts and success, telling them that  they had "shown them through your courage, what can be achieved with tenacity, hard work and a positive attitude. Above all you have created and represent great joy."