Irish Olympic Athlete Suspected of Cheating at 2008 Beijing Games

Posted: August 12, 2012

Updated: October 4, 2017

Irish Olympic sailor suspected of profiting from wagering on his opponent at 2008 Beijing Olympics.

There’s another scandal gaining momentum at London Olympics. Peter O’Leary, an Irish Olympic sailor, allegedly placed a bet on his opponent back at 2008 Beijing Olympics. The case is currently under the investigating by the Irish Olympic Council.

Although betting on sports is perfectly in line with Irish gambling laws, athletes participating in the competitions cannot place any kinds of bets, especially on the events, outcomes of which directly depend on their performance.

At this year’s Olympics the performance of O’Leary is rather dismal, which generated widespread speculations that the athlete is deliberately underperforming. An anonymous email has been sent to the Irish Olympic Council alleging O’Leary of an illegal bet on sports in Ireland.

The Irish sailor and his fellow crewman David Burrows secured a second place in qualifications, however, the general opinion is that the pair is highly unlikely to produce any kind of medal in the finals.

Ireland gambling news reports that there’s more information available to support the allegations against O’Leary. Reports suggest the Irishman placed two wagers in his hometown of Cork, prior to 2008 Beijing Olympics. The bets were placed on an opponent winning a race against him.

Peter O’Leary already hired a team of lawyers, who say the allegations against the athlete were made in “spite and vengeance” and have a goal of throwing him off his best game before the final competition.

O’Leary’s rivals, British Andrew Simpson, who leads the competition with his fellow crewman Iain Simpson commented: “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.”

A source within the IOC says Irish and other Olympians have signed a contract back in 2008 agreeing to abstain from betting on sports. Additionally, the clause in the code of Olympic ethics has since been strengthened in order to make the ban on betting more specific to preventing any kind of match fixing.

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