Athletics Ireland deny that marathon omission was due to athlete being born in Moldova
In the wake of the controversy surrounding the selection of Ireland's Olympic Games marathon team, Athletics Ireland has rejected Sergiu Ciobanu's assertion that his background played a role in the decision.
Ciobanu, who grew up in Moldova but has lived in Ireland for the past 10 years, was the third fastest Irishman during the qualification period, but wasn't included when the three-man team was named on Monday night, which left the 32-year-old claiming he felt "robbed".
Ciobanu suggested that if he had been born in Ireland, he would have been selected.
Athletics Ireland dismissed that assertion, with a spokesman saying they "categorically and completely reject any inference that an athlete's background was in any way a factor".
They also confirmed that Ciobanu has appealed the decision, with a hearing likely to be held by Friday.
Expanding on the reasons for their selection, Athletics Ireland said: "The panel made very difficult decisions given so many athletes hit the qualification times.
"The decisions were based purely on which athletes the panel believed would deliver the best performances at the Olympic Games."