OCI confirm two Irish boxers were 'spoken to' over Olympics betting

Two Irish boxers have been 'spoken to' by the OCI over betting
Two Irish boxers have been 'spoken to' by the OCI over betting

The Olympic Council of Ireland have released a brief statement on foot of reports of inappropriate betting activity by Irish athletes during the Games.

UPDATE: 12.42:

The Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) have now released a statement.

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.

Last night it was reported that an Irish Olympian was caught placing bets on events while in Rio de Janeiro and subject to an investigation.

Sources said the person "did it inadvertently" and was very apologetic afterwards.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is understood to have suggested that they take part in an education programme on best practice for sports people.

This morning it was reported that two members of the team were involved and this morning the Olympic Council of Ireland confirmed the news.

The brief statement read: "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." 

Since 2006, the IOC code of ethics prevents all athletes at the Olympic Games from betting on an Olympic event.

In documents published by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the organisation says it is the responsibility of the Olympic Movement to ensure that betting does not "infringe" on the "course or result of the competition".

"With the rise of the internet, the sports betting market has gone global," according to the IOC.

"The market has hugely increased in size and complexity. The problem occurs when betting leads to the manipulation of competitions.

"The very essence of any sporting competition is that the result cannot be known beforehand.

"When that uncertainty is removed, it renders sport meaningless and demoralises clean athletes."

Olympic chiefs established a special intelligence system to monitor betting since the Beijing games in 2008.

The Integrity Betting Intelligence System (IBIS) came into operation in January 2014 and established a "centralised mechanism for the exchange of information".

The system sends alerts and intelligence to international sport bodies, organisers and the Olympic Games.

"IBIS collects and distributes information and intelligence related to sports betting for use by all stakeholders of the Olympic Movement," according to the IOC.

"Should an irregular pattern be detected or serious suspicion raised, a disciplinary commission can be set up by the IOC President."