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Irish Olympians investigated over Games betting

Tue, Aug 30, 12:44pm by Staff Writer

Two Irish boxers who competed at the Rio Olympics are awaiting an investigation by the International Olympic Committee after allegations they were involved in gambling inside the Olympic Village.

The Olympic Council of Ireland confirmed the two unidentified athletes were the subject of an IOC investigation over ‘inappropriate betting activity’ during their stay in Rio.

Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) president Pat Ryan told Irish TV station RTE that he was surprised when informed by the OCI about the investigation.

“My immediate reaction was one of surprise,” he said. “At the moment I am awaiting a report from the International Olympic Committee and when completed and when I receive the manager’s report of the Olympic team, we’ll be in a better position to answer those questions.”

He said it was made perfectly clear to all athletes involved that they were not allowed to bet on any Olympic events.

“All the Olympians have signed contracts and the contracts are very explicit. There are regulations in it on gambling which bans them from participating in betting on Olympic events and providing inside information to gamblers. So it’s very explicit and they are fully aware of this regulation,” Ryan said.

“The contracts have been really very explicit and they have been fully informed of the contract’s content.”

The boxers could face fines or suspensions, while Ryan said they would also face sanctions from the IABA should the allegations be proven,

“We have our own disciplinary procedure and that will be followed,” he said.

“I think it’s important and appropriate that we allow due process to take place before we make any further comment,” he added.

The findings of the investigation are expected within a fortnight.

It was a difficult time in Rio for the Irish Olympic team with boxer Michael O’Reilly prevented from competing after failing a drugs test before the games, while former OCI president Pat Hickey is being held in a Rio prison after being arrested in connection with the alleged illegal sale of Olympic tickets. He denies any wrongdoing.

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