Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Athletics Ireland claims Ciobanu's Olympic appeal cost it 'over €75,000'

Monday, May 01, 2017

Athletics Ireland claims Ciobanu's Olympic appeal cost it 'over €75,000'

There was an article in the Irish Independent today titled "Ciobanu's Rio case costs association €75k".

Back in 2016, Sergiu Ciobanu was skipped over for selection for the three man Irish marathon team for the Rio Olympics despite having the third fastest time. The Athletics Ireland selection committee decided to pick Paul Pollock instead based on his half-marathon performances.

Sergiu Ciobanu appealed the decision to Athletics Ireland and was refused. He then took the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, saying that Athletics Ireland were unclear in their selection policy. The CAS appeal was unsuccessful.

According to the Irish Independent article, the CAS appeal process cost Athletics Ireland 'over €75,000'. Considering that the association made a profit of just €2,763 for 2016, €75k is a huge amount.

The article however failed to get the viewpoint of the athlete in question so it wasn't balanced in that respect. In response to the newspaper article, Sergiu Ciobanu posted this on social media....

"I believe this article might be somewhat misleading. It vilifies me as the guy who cost the sport so much. I will be straight the total cost of me appealing the case with CAS including solicitor, barrister and travel to Lausanne fees cost approx 9k. How it would cost AI 75k is beyond me??

Also to clarify the end results was that CAS ruled they didn't have the jurisdiction to intervene in the decision. "

What the article also doesn't touch on is the fact that this was the second time there was a legal case based on the selection process. In 2012, there was a similar case with the 4 x 400m women's relay team for the London Olympics which also cost Athletics Ireland a substantial amount of money.

Considering that the women's 4x400 team of 2012 and the men's marathon team of 2016 never had any realistic chance of getting anywhere near the medals, surely Athletics Ireland would have saved themselves a huge amount of money by just having a simple selection process. Instead of having a selection policy that is open to interpretation, surely just sending the fastest athletes in the qualifying period would be beyond any legal challenge?


Anonymous said...

A dirty attempt at black propaganda by the AAI. Sergiu did nothing wrong in appealing against his non selection. The policy of selection by the Olympic was vague and misleading.

John Desmond said...

To be fair to Athletics Ireland, they would have had to announce the costs associated with this at their AGM. The resulting news article could have been a bit more balanced.

IaR said...

How much will Pat Hickeys case cost Athletes?

Sergio should have been sent.