LONDON, July 28 Ireland's Olympic Council is
investigating an allegation that one of its competitors at the
London Games previously bet on an opponent to win an event in
which they were both competing, a spokesman said on Saturday.
The council has informed the athlete, whom it will not name,
about an anonymous allegation that two bets were made in favour
of an opponent in an unspecified sport prior to the Olympics.
The spokesman said it was now a legal issue and that the
council would not make any further comment at this time.
The Irish Independent newspaper reported that the alleged
bets were placed the day before the competition in question
started and that both were successful. It said the competitor
withdrew 3,600 euros ($4,500) in cash on returning from the
The newspaper quoted Olympic Council of Ireland President
Pat Hickey, who was last week elected to the executive board of
the International Olympic Committee (IOC), as saying that if
found guilty any competitor would face "severe sanctions" that
could include exclusion from the Olympics.
Ireland has over 60 athletes taking part in 14 sports at the
Games, which officially opened on Friday.
The IOC has pledged to crack down on illegal gambling during
the Games and has set up a monitoring unit to track betting
patterns. It has also banned athletes from betting during the
IOC President Jacques Rogge told reporters on Friday he was
even "uneasy" about Australian athletes allegedly betting on who
would be the flag bearer.
Australian chef de mission Nick Green said they had a strict
ban on betting in their team.
($1 = 0.8084 euros)
(Reporting by Padraic Halpin,additional reporting by Karolos
Grohmann; Editing by Mark Meadows;
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