OCI hold up 400m relay entry
ATHLETICS NEWS:IN A further twist to the selection controversy surrounding the women’s 4x400 metres relay team for London the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) have stalled the process of entering either Joanna Mills or Catriona Cuddihy until receiving full clarification of the matter from Athletics Ireland.
It means, for now, neither athlete is sure if or when they will actually be confirmed for London, even though the process of formally submitting Olympic entries is due to be completed by Friday.
The OCI must rubber-stamp the Olympic selections of all the national federations, but have held over accepting the sixth member of the women’s relay team due to the continuing uncertainty of what, if any, appeal process might be set in motion.
Athletics Ireland have been asked for full clarification of their relay selection process, and why they first named Cuddihy among the six-woman team last Tuesday, only then to replace her with Mills, who successfully appealed this original selection over the weekend.
The OCI have yet to receive any update on this, although they are expecting correspondence some time today.
“Until we get the necessary clarification on this we can’t process the entry of either athlete,” said OCI spokesman Jack McGouran. “As of now we aren’t in the position to replace one athlete with another, so no, the OCI have not yet accepted Joanna Mills, nor yet replaced Catriona Cuddihy.
“So effectively the situation is still very much up in the air. We want to do what’s right, but we need to be pointed in the right direction, too. We need to know did Athletics Ireland make the right decision, and was it all legally correct? Otherwise we could end up with a legality issue of our own.”
The OCI have received notification of Cuddihy’s intent to counter-appeal, but can’t proceed “without full clarification from Athletics Ireland on what exactly went on”, if only because “the OCI may not even have a role to play here”.
Friday is the deadline for submission of Irish entries to the London Olympic organising Committee, LOCOG, and with that in mind any potential appeal would need to be agreed before then. So, whether it’s Cuddihy or Mills being told no, there’ll be no easy way of putting it.