Cork sailor tries to ignore controversy
Cork Olympian and medal prospect Peter O’Leary found himself in a storm of controversy earlier this week when he was named as the athlete who had allegedly been involved in illegal betting at the Beijing Olympics.
It is alleged that the Cork man placed two bets on an opponent at the Beijing Games four years ago in a race that he was also participating in.
The International Olympic Committee confirmed last Sunday that it was investigating the case. A spokesman for Peter O’Leary’s lawyers Ronan Daly Jermyn said that they had no statement to make and they had not made any earlier statements, contrary to media reports.
An Olympic Council of Ireland spokesperson said they would not be making any comment on the gambling allegation.
The controversy may have affected the performance of Peter O’Leary and David Burrows in the Star class as they had a second consecutive disappointing day on Tuesday. The pair had an 11th and a 12th place finish in the 15-strong class and dropped to ninth place overall.
They had a rest day yesterday and will need a number of big performances in order to make the medal race. The furore failed to impact them on the first day of racing when they finished second overall after the first two races.
This is particularly disappointing as the duo are genuine medal contenders, having won the pre-Olympic competition, Sail For Gold, at the Olympic course beating the reigning Olympic gold, silver and bronze medallists.
There are also fears that the negative attention could adversely affect star hurdler Derval O’Rourke who is yet to compete; the Cork sprinter is the partner of the Crosshaven sailor.
She competes in the semi finals of the 100m hurdles on Monday 6 August and is a medal hope despite an injury-ravaged build up to the Olympics.
Peter O’Leary and David Burrows will take to the water again today at 1pm. They will race twice today, twice tomorrow and again on Sunday in the medal race if they finish in the top 10.