Saturday August 4,2012 : IS SOMEONE OUT TO GET IRISH OLYMPIC YACHTSMAN?
Irish enquiries continue, but was this a malicious attempt to throw the sailor off balance prior to the Olympics?
Sailing media are currently discussing the case of Irish Olympic sailor Peter OLeary, who is the subject of an ongoing Irish Olympic Council investigation into allegations that in 2008 he prospered from betting on an opponent against whom he would be racing.
The performance of the Irish sailing team in this year's London Olympics has been less than stellar, and this has generated speculation that O'Leary may have been deliberately thrown off his top game by the allegations made against him in an email to the Irish Olympic Council on 21 July.
The Irishman and his crewman David Burrows have managed a second placing, but are now generally regarded as unlikely to secure any Olympic medals.
More information has since been supplied to support the claim that just prior to the Beijing Olympics in 2008 O'Leary placed two bets in a shop in his home city of Cork on an opponent winning in an event in which he was entered.
O'Leary's lawyers claim the allegation has been made in ‘vengeance and spite' and is designed to throw him off balance at the time of ‘maximum negative impact'.
Certainly it appears that fellow sportsmen can appreciate his anxiety and stress. British rival Andrew Simpson, currently leading with team mate Iain Simpson, said: "I think they are a bit frustrated because the Irish press are hounding them quite hard and I feel very sorry for those guys. It is not a good situation to be in and it must be pretty frustrating."
According to the IOC, Irish and other athletes would have signed a contract in 2008 agreeing to abstain from betting. The clause in the code of ethics has since been strengthened to make the prohibition more specific with the intent of preventing match fixing.