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Bobsleigh team will compete - Hickey

Updated: Friday, 12 Feb 2010 15:36

Olympic Council of Ireland President Pat Hickey is confident that Aoife Hoey and Claire Bergin will compete at the Winter Olympics
Olympic Council of Ireland President Pat Hickey is confident that Aoife Hoey and Claire Bergin will compete at the Winter Olympics

Audio

Olympic Council of Ireland President Pat Hickey insists that the Irish bobsleigh team will definitely compete in the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

The bobsleigh team of Aoife Hoey and Claire Bergin have already seen Australia threaten their place in Vancouver with an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and now Brazil are demanding to be included in the event, with their appeal.

The CAS had already recommended that Ireland's two-man team should retain their place after the Australian legal challenge, adding the Australians as a 21st team in the event.

Brazil launched their appeal on the back of Australia's success, but Hickey is convinced that the Irish team's participation will not be affected.

'The President and the Executive Committee of the International Olympic Committee took the decision to add an extra-team (Australia) and in the wording they confirmed that both Australia and Ireland were definitely now in the Olympic games,' Hickey told RTÉ this morning.

'(Brazil's) arguments now seem to be academic to me because the Bobsleigh Federation of Brazil should have had their first appeal to the International Bobsleigh Federation, but they’re jumping straight to the CAS, so I think it will be thrown out on that basis'.

Hickey also called for changes to the appeals system, setting a deadline for appeals to be heard by.

'It is obvious in all of this that there must be a cut-off date of one month before the games for these disputes, because it’s dreadfully unfair on young athletes who are living through this and worrying if they’ll be let compete.'

Australia's appeal was made on the basis that they are the number one country in Oceania and that all continents must be represented at the games.

Brazil on the other hand are citing conflicts in the way the Irish team had qualified. Their case will be heard today with a decision expected on Friday.

Medal Table

Country Total
USA 45 27 30 102
China 38 28 23 89
Great Britain 29 17 19 65
Russia 25 25 32 82
South Korea 13 8 7 28
Ireland 1 1 3 5
Full Table

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