O'Leary escapes sanctions for allegedly betting on races
SAILING:PETER O’LEARY, the Irish sailor who was in the middle of an Olympic betting storm, will receive little more than a “slap on the wrist”, according to International Olympic Committee sources. The Cork man will not face any sanctions for allegedly betting on a race in which he was involved in at the Beijing Games of four years ago.
The Olympic Council of Ireland announced during London 2012 an investigation would be carried out but little was heard about the issue since then.
While there has been no official notification, it is believed the investigation has now come to an end and O’Leary clearly has no case to answer.
The controversy concerned two bets that were allegedly placed on British sailor Iain Percy winning the gold medal in the Star class at the Beijing Games.
O’Leary, who was directly competing against Percy in the race, allegedly placed the bets totalling €300 on Percy to win the gold medal.
O’Leary was a rank outsider at the time and would not have been expected to win the event or be placed in a medal position.
As a rookie he had been a training partner with Percy and would have been aware of the ability of the British sailor, who was placed at odds of 12 to 1 to win the event.
Sources close to the Irish Olympic team in London this summer described the timing of the leaks as “malicious” and designed to “maximise damage” to the sailor.
They emerged after details of his bank account and betting accounts were given to a national newspaper in Dublin just days before he was to take part in his first race of London 2012 with sailing partner David Burrows.
Athletes had been informed by the IOC regulations prohibiting making bets were in place as far back as 2006.
Communication from the IOC office in London during this summer’s Olympics confirmed that although the regulations were strengthened at a meeting in Durban, South Africa, last year, betting on an Olympic event was against IOC rules two years before the 2008 Games.
“An amendment to the IOC code of ethics was added in 2006 that forbids all participants in the Olympic Games from betting on an Olympic event,” said the IOC during London 2012.
“During its meeting in Durban [South Africa] on 4 July 2011, the IOC executive board approved rules concerning the prohibition on betting linked to the Olympic Games and any form of cheating affecting the course and or the results of Olympic competitions in the context of betting. These rules apply to all participants in the London 2012 Olympic Games.”
Recently O’Leary won Ireland’s most prestigious sailing championship, the Irish Sailing Association All-Ireland Sailing Championship.
He dominated the final three-race series and claimed the Helmsman Trophy for the second time, having first won the title in 2006.