Monday 5 December 2016

OCI confirms that two Irish boxers were spoken to about 'inappropriate' Rio betting

Published 27/08/2016 | 12:14

This is not the first time an Irish Olympian has become embroiled in a betting controversy. (Stock picture)
This is not the first time an Irish Olympian has become embroiled in a betting controversy. (Stock picture)

The Olympic Council of Ireland has confirmed reports, first published on Independent.ie, that two Irish boxers were spoken to about inappropriate betting during the Rio Olympics.

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In a statement the OCI said: "The OCI can confirm that two Irish boxers at Rio 2016 were spoken to about inappropriate betting activity during the Games.

"The matter is still under review so there will be no further comment at this stage."

It is not illegal for athletes or officials to place bets at the Olympic Games but it is prohibited by the International Olympic Committee.

The IABA today released a statement, saying: "The Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) has been made aware of allegations that two members of the Irish Olympic Team may have placed a bet on an event during the Rio Olympic Games.

"The IABA would be very disappointed if any members of the team have engaged in a prohibited activity under the Conditions of Participation.

"The IABA has not received any notification from the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) regarding this allegation but understand that the matter is under review.

"For athletes participating in the Olympic Games, any form of gambling is prohibited as per the OCI’s Conditions of Participation.

"Any potential disciplinary action would be undertaken by the OCI, not the IABA, as per the Conditions of Participation.

"It is therefore not permissible for the IABA to comment further at this time."

The IOC set up a special unit to monitor betting in the athletes village ahead of the Games in Rio which was supported by Brazil's Department of Federal Police, the national secretariat for security at major events, and Interpol.

Athletes and officials are forbidden from betting on the Olympics and the IOC has been co-operating with legal betting agencies in the past few Games to monitor betting patterns for any suspect or unusual wagers.

Sources said the Irish participant was only placing "minor bets". The IOC is understood to have suggested that they take part in an education programme on best practice for sports people.

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