Tribunal to settle Irish Olympic sailing row

THE Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) have set up a special tribunal to hear appeals resulting from the nomination of Star Class sailors Peter O'Leary and Stephen Milne by the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) for the Beijing Games.

The boat crewed by Max Treacy and Anthony Shanks finished three places ahead of the O'Leary/Milne boat at the Star world championships in Miami - securing the place for Ireland in the Olympic Regatta.

However the ISA nominated O'Leary and Milne, the youngest crew at the world championships, to the OCI for Olympic selection on the back of a breakthrough performance that saw them win the final race. They were lying fourth when their mast broke in the penultimate race.

The OCI were scheduled to ratify the nominations before them at Wednesday night's Executive Committee meeting but instead they set up a special Appeals Tribunal to deal with an appeal by Max Treacy and Anthony Shanks against the nomination.

The tribunal is comprised of Dermot Sherlock, Hon General Secretary of the OCI; William O'Brien, First Vice-President of the OCI and Chef de Mission for the Athens Olympics; and Susan Ahern, a Legal Executive with the IRB who is also a member of the Executive Committee of the OCI. The Tribunal will hear appeals from the three parties involved - the boat crews and the ISA - in private at the OCI offices in Howth on June 14.

The OCI has stressed that any finding by the Tribunal may be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) but they are hopeful that the issue can be resolved speedily so that the boat can be selected for the Olympic regatta in Quingado.


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