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McDowell: IOC should settle Olympic row

NORTHERN Ireland's Graeme McDowell says the International Olympic Committee should step in to resolve the growing debate over whether he and world No 1 Rory McIlroy should represent Great Britain or Ireland at the 2016 Olympics.

McILROY in particular has found himself drawn into the controversy as to which nation he should compete for at Rio de Janeiro.

There have also been suggestions the Olympic Council of Ireland would offer McIlroy the chance to carry the Ireland flag into the opening ceremony in four years' time if he competes for the Republic. However, OCI president Pat Hickey earlier this week said he was misquoted with this offer to McIlroy.

McDowell says he and McIlroy "have one foot on each team" and said the IOC should step in and say "you guys are either playing for Ireland or you're playing for Great Britain."

"Obviously, Rory's come under a lot of scrutiny in the last couple of months for kind of saying he might play for Great Britain," McDowell said. "We're kind of in a unique scenario in Northern Ireland in that we have one foot on each team . I think it's going to be a lot easier if someone makes the decision for us.

McDowell said he'd be prepared to represent Britain or Ireland, with his mother hailing from the Republic and his father from the North.

"It's going to be very difficult if we personally have to make that decision... I always say that I come from a mixed religion family," McDowell said. "My mum's Catholic and my dad is Protestant.

McDowell has also voiced his support for Dubliner Paul McGinley in the race to be Ryder Cup captain at Gleneagles in 2014.

"Both Paul and Darren (Clarke) would be great captains in their own right, but then Paul has kind of forged a little niche for himself given the way he has conducted himself in the Seve Trophy and the Ryder Cup vice-captaincy roles," said McDowell.