Sergiu Ciobanu has appeal against Athletics Ireland thrown out by CAS
Moldovan-born marathon runner claimed he was unfairly treated in Rio team selection
A last-ditch effort by Irish marathon runner Sergiu Ciobanu to get a place at the Rio Olympics has failed, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissing his appeal against the selection policy of Athletics Ireland. Photo: Inpho
A last-ditch effort by Irish marathon runner Sergiu Ciobanu to get a place at the Rio Olympics has failed, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissing his appeal against the selection policy of Athletics Ireland.
It’s two months now since Athletics Ireland named its trio of men’s and women’s marathon runners for Rio, and which saw the Belfast-based runner Paul Pollock selected ahead Ciobanu, the former Moldovan athlete, even though Ciobanu had run the faster qualifying time.
At the time Athletics Ireland found itself having to reject the suggestion of bias or previous nationality in their selection of Pollock ahead of Ciobanu, who initially appealed his omission to an independent committee set up by Athletics Ireland. This process, he claimed, did not include an oral hearing and failed to provide him with reasons for his omission from the team, and with that he took his case to CAS, only for that to now fail as well.
“I took this necessary action to highlight the lack of clarity that I believe currently exists for many Irish athletes,” he said, “all of whom make great sacrifices to represent their country. I will continue to seek to represent Ireland and I would call on Athletics Ireland to ensure greater transparency and clarity in their qualification requirements to safeguard athletes in the future.
“That said, I fully respect the decision of CAS and certainly wish each and every member of the Irish marathon team every success at Rio and have no doubt that they will represent Ireland with pride. I also look forward to continuing my close relationship with Athletics Ireland over the next four years as I set my sights on Tokyo 2020.”
Ciobanu was the third fastest Irish qualifier, his 2:15:14 run in Berlin last September, 24 seconds faster than Pollock’s best of 2:15:38, also in Berlin.
All three Irish men selected will now make their Olympic debut in Rio: Kevin Seaward was always the fastest qualifier with his 2:14:52 from Berlin last September, followed by Mick Clohisey (who ran 2:15:10 in Seville in February).