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OLYMPIC ALARM ON IRISH TEAM BETS
29th July, 2012 at 03:17:33
Allegation that one team member previously bet on an opponent to win
Allegations of betting created negative headlines in an otherwise positive Olympics news environment over the weekend when Ireland's Olympic Council announced that it has started investigating an accusation that one of its athletes at the London Games previously bet on an opponent to win an event in which they were both competing.
The council has informed the athlete, whom it did 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 until investigations had been concluded.
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 Euros 3,600 ($4,500) in cash on returning from the event.
Olympic Council of Ireland President Pat Hickey said 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.
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 Games.
IOC President Jacques Rogge he was even "uneasy" about Australian athletes allegedly betting on who would be the flag bearer.
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