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Growing fears Olympic hopefuls are losing on the double

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Sarah Keane, president of the Olympic Council of Ireland.  Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Sarah Keane, president of the Olympic Council of Ireland. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

David Fitzgerald

Sarah Keane, president of the Olympic Council of Ireland. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Ireland's Olympic hopefuls are the latest group in society to highlight some of the anomalies which lie at the heart of the government's phased exit from lockdown. Most of our elite athletes are not able to train properly due to the current Covid-19 restrictions and so far all efforts to get officials in the Department of Health to introduce special waivers have failed.

It doesn't really seem that big of a deal to allow a small group of athletes to begin training again. And yet, it seems as if it is just that - a big deal.

The athletes can, at this stage, be broadly split into two groups: those who have qualified already for next year's games in Tokyo, and those who are still striving to qualify. Ultimately, the longer they are holed up at home, the greater the damage that is being done to all the athletes and their prospects.