'Special circumstances' save gambling sailor

The IOC give Peter O'Leary a warning rather than a suspension after he bet on outcome of event at 2008 Beijing Games.

    'Special circumstances' save gambling sailor
    O'Leary (R) of Ireland in action during the London 2012 Games in Weymouth and Portland [Reuters]

    An Irish Olympic sailor received a warning from the IOC on Tuesday for betting on a rival to win, escaping a suspension
    because of the 'special circumstances' in the case.

    The International Olympic Committee executive board ruled that Peter O'Leary violated betting rules when he placed two bets on Britain to win the men's Star event at the 2008 Beijing Games.

    O'Leary allegedly placed bets worth $391 with an Irish bookmaker at odds of 12-1, collecting $4,692 when Britain took the gold.

    IOC rules bar athletes from betting on Olympic events.

    "No proof of any match-fixing of the competition was found"

    IOC spokesman Mark Adams

    The case only came to light during the London Olympics when someone informed the Olympic Council of Ireland by email of the bets.

    After an investigation by its ethics commission, the IOC said there was no evidence of match-fixing and O'Leary had not been fully aware of the betting rules at the time.

    O'Leary could have faced a suspension, but the IOC said a warning was sufficient because his activity had 'no impact' on the result.

    "No proof of any match-fixing of the competition was found," IOC spokesman Mark Adams said.

    "While the executive board views any breach of its betting rules as a serious matter, it considered the special circumstances of this case when taking this decision."

    O'Leary and teammate Stephen Milne did not qualify for the medal race of the Star competition in Beijing, which was won by Britain's Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson.

    O'Leary finished 10th in the Star at the London Games with David Burrows. The IOC has led efforts in recent years to bring sports federations, law enforcement agencies, governments and the legal gambling operators together to coordinate and fund the fight against betting corruption.



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