Irish Sailing hits out at O'Leary treatment

Updated: Friday, 07 Dec 2012 17:05

The Irish Sailing Association have hit out at the ‘malicious campaign’ aimed at Irish sailor Peter O'Leary prior to the London Olympics.

Corkman O’Leary’s preparations for the Games were disrupted by the controversy surrounding bets placed by the Irish sailor at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

It later transpired that the bets O’Leary placed were concerning a race that he was not partaking in and would have had no way of influencing the outcome.

ISA Olympic Performance Director James O’Callaghan said: “The ISA notes that the facts found present a vastly different picture than the story portrayed on the eve of O'Leary's opening race of the London 2012 Olympics with team-mate David Burrows at Weymouth.

“The effect of this malicious campaign achieved someone's aim. O'Leary and Burrows placed tenth overall in Weymouth. Their form prior to this indicated at the very least fifth was attainable. They regularly placed higher than the eventual Gold medallists.

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“The effect of this malicious campaign achieved someone's aim." - O'Callaghan

The press release from the ISA stated: “The IOC report did not refer to the manner in which this matter was brought into the public arena except to state that it arose from an anonymous email. The motive and timing of this matter, some four years after it occurred has left many unanswered questions.

“The ISA regrets that these questions have never been properly probed prior to, during or since this summer's Olympics.”

O’Leary received a warning from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) earlier this week for placing the bet but did not receive a severe sanction as the organisation's ethics commission said competitors in 2008 may not have been as familiar with the regulations as they are now.

"There was no proof of any match-fixing," said IOC spokesman Mark Adams. "The athlete was unaware he could not bet on Olympic events.

"It is not something we agree with and we condemn it but we will not take any more action.”

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