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Sports New: redux August 25, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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The SBP doesn’t mince words – well, not too much, in its editorial this weekend. It notes that

Pat Hickey is innocent until proven guilty. But the emails to him leaked by the Brazilian authorities are emblematic of a contempt not just for Shane Ross – whom Hickey was advised by his lawyers to “put back in his box” – but for Irish sports fans and taxpayers.

Most sports fans watch the Olympics only having made strenuous intellectual leaps of faith, suspend their disbelief over doping and cheating and match fixing, in an effort to enjoy the true Olympian spirit.

And here’s a sensible point

The athletes deserve all the praise for their hard work [over the years before an Olympics], discipline and determination. But the Irish tax payer deserves recognition for their contribution too.

Tom McGurk in the same paper has a good piece on how money driven and elitist the organisations in international sports actually are, how wide the gulf between ‘Olympian’ rhetoric and the reality.

And to round it up, Michael McDowell makes the blindingly obvious but still necessary point on foot of what appears to be a most intriguing process by which tickets were made available:

Reform of OCI is now an urgent necessity…

OCI cannot be a personal fiefdom for sporting oligarchs. Continued public funding of OCI and its constituent sporting bodies should now be made conditional on major reform in OCI’s governance.

And he notes that transparency is key. If there’s any lesson to take away from all this it is, as ever, that enormous scepticism should be exercised in relation to such organisations. It’s just good standard operating procedure. Well, that and an absolute determination to ensure that those who present themselves as representing the citizens of this state in whatever fashion are held to account at all times and in all appropriate ways.

Comments»

1. EWI - August 25, 2016

We live in a country where massive corruption in ‘voluntary’ bodies such as sports, charities and trade unions (hello, SIPTU slush fund) goes entirely unpunished, the Guards knowing what side their bread’s buttered on.

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2. CMK - August 25, 2016

I read somewhere that there were similar shennanigans in Brazil during the 2014 World Cup and that those involved had skipped the country once the police started investigating.

It’s clear the Brazilians are not going to be caught out again, hence the arrests and heavy handedness. Hickey is probably doomed to spend a considerable period engaged with the Brazilian criminal justice system and even a couple of months on remand would be a trial in itself for a 71 year old man

An interesting aspect of this whole situation concerns whether the Brazilians will want to speak to one Mr. John Delaney to ‘assist them with their inquiries’. And, if he is further implicated, and I stress ‘if’, will he go voluntarily? There is then the question of the extradition of rouge solicitor Michael Lynn from Brazil to Ireland; will that play any role in this process from here on in?

‘The Phoenix’ lead article in today’s edition is on this and seems to be asking some probing questions about the treatment of Hickey and why he was arrested.

Also, the placing of the Brazilian police on a pedestal by people who should know better would almost, almost, elicit a smidgen of sympathy for Hickey.

Alas, that feeling lasts less than a nanosecond when you see the correspondence yesterday between Hickey and THG (‘you can have all of them’) and hear about how the US Olympic Committee, for example, provide 2 tickets for each athlete for family, friends to see that athlete compete in the Olympics.

This one will run and run.

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3. dublinstreams - August 25, 2016

there is question of what connection we have to these athletes who are representing a company the OCI and their sponsors rather then a country.

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