Olympics: Chiefs to share ticket
SPORTS Council (ISC) officials will be 'sharing' one ticket at this summer's London Olympics and will travel, like the athletes, in economy class, WRITES CLIONA FOLEY.
The Council came under heavy fire in the wake of the Beijing Olympics for the number of officials who went to China, and also because some of them flew first class.
Kieran Mulvey, who has since taken over the ISC chairmanship, revealed yesterday that both himself and ISC chief executive John Treacy have received invitations from the Olympic Council of Ireland but will share one ticket between them.
"We won't be there together -- we will alternate the ticket between us," Mulvey said. "And there is absolutely no question of anyone travelling first-class. We will go on the cheapest flight we can get and, if we have to go by boat, then no problem."
Mulvey also stressed that the Sports Council's door is always open to athletes who may be struggling personally, an obvious reference to Martin Fagan, who recently said he had turned to drugs because of depression, the pressures of the system and losing his grant.
"No athlete should be out there alone, in a foreign country, with things weighing on their mind, financially or performance-wise," Mulvey said. "Their wel-lbeing is paramount."
Mulvey also defended the standards that the ISC demand to qualify for grant aid.