Relay runner Catriona Cuddihy gets last-minute Olympics reprieve
CATRIONA Cuddihy has won her appeal against her de-selection from the Ireland women's 4 x 400m relay team for the forthcoming Olympic Games.
Kilkenny-born Cuddihy, 25, was initially named in a six-strong squad for the Games ahead of Joanna Mills, whose seasonal best was better than Cuddihy's, leading to Mills successfully appealing the decision.
But Cuddihy's original selection was based on a number of different criteria, including experience at major championships, and her appeal against Mills' inclusion at her expense was upheld by an Athletics Ireland Appeal Panel in Dublin.
A statement read: "The Appeal Tribunal found that process for the original selection by the AI High Performance Relay Selectors had been carried out in a fair and proportionate manner.
"The AIAP in reaching its decision differed with the interpretation of the selectors in the application of two of the eight selection criteria for the women's relay team on the grounds that their application had been too narrowly applied.
"The Tribunal in reviewing the selection criteria and the AIAP decision found that it did not agree with the AIAP conclusions. The Tribunal found that the selectors did follow and apply the selection policy outlined in the Relay Programme and did so with diligence and acumen.
"Based on these findings the Tribunal upheld the appeal of Catriona Cuddihy, and her original nomination to the OCI as an athlete on the Women's 4 x 400m relay is reinstated."
Mills, 19, could still take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Mills and her coach Ian Neely are due to release a statement in response to the ruling later today.