Two Irish Olympic boxers face action for betting on Games
Olympic Council of Ireland confirms athletes were censured for breaching code of ethics
The secretary general of the OCI, Dermot Henihan, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The OCI has confirmed two Irish Olympic boxers are facing disciplinary action for gambling during the Rio Games. Photograph: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images
Two Irish Olympic boxers are facing disciplinary action from the International Olympic Committee for gambling during the Rio Games.
A source within the Olympic Council of Ireland confirmed on Firday night that the boxers were reprimanded for a breach of the code of ethics by betting on Olympic sports between July 24th and August 24th.
It is not yet known whether boxing is one of the sports involved or if the two fighters gambled on their own bouts.
The Olympic Council of Ireland on Saturday morning issued the following statement: "The OCI can confirm that two Irish boxers at Rio 2016 were spoken to about inappropriate betting activity during the Games. The matter is still under review so there will be no further comment at this stage."
A chaotic week in the OCI has been capped off by the news, which was a topic of conversation among Irish Olympic athletes travelling home from the Games.
The situation has been complicated over the past few days by the current turmoil within the Olympic Council of Ireland.
The normal disciplinary procedure for a breach of the gambling code is for the national organising committee – in this case the OCI – to be notified through its president, chef de mission or secretary general.
Currently the OCI president Pat Hickey is in jail in Rio awaiting the next step in the ticketing investigation and the chef de mission Kevin Kilty met with Rio police on Thursday before being told he was free to go.
Secretary general Dermot Henihan was still in Rio early yesterday waiting for his passport to be returned.
When contacted by The Irish Times, Henihan said: “I have no idea about anything that has gone on. I lost the second half of the Olympics with everything that happened. I genuinely don’t know anything about it. I just want to go home.”
A new code of ethical regulations published by the International Olympic Committee last December expressly banned participants from betting on Olympic events, throwing competitions and providing inside information to gamblers.
Following the OCI's statement, the IABA released the following on Saturday: "The Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) has been made aware of allegations that two members of the Irish Olympic Team may have placed a bet on an event during the Rio Olympic Games.
"The IABA would be very disappointed if any members of the team have engaged in a prohibited activity under the Conditions of Participation.
"The IABA has not received any notification from the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) regarding this allegation but understand that the matter is under review.
"For athletes participating in the Olympic Games, any form of gambling is prohibited as per the OCI’s Conditions of Participation.
"Any potential disciplinary action would be undertaken by the OCI, not the IABA, as per the Conditions of Participation.
It is therefore not permissible for the IABA to comment further at this time."