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We'll learn from Cuddihy/Mills saga, promise athletics bosses

Athletics Ireland have promised to conduct a review of the selection and appeals processes after the Olympics.

Catriona Cuddihy, right, and her sister Joanne compete in Cork last month.
Catriona Cuddihy, right, and her sister Joanne compete in Cork last month.
Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

ATHLETICS IRELAND MOVED to draw a line under the controversial selection process for the women’s 4x400m relay team, saying that it respects the decision to reinstate Catriona Cuddihy at the expense of Joanna Mills.

The drawn-out saga came to a close this morning as the Olympic Council of Ireland confirmed that an Appeals Tribunal had reversed the decision which saw Cuddihy sidelined to make room for Mills in the six-woman squad.

Although Mills can still appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland, Athetlics Ireland CEO John Foley said that he considered the OCI decision to be final.

Describing the affair as a significant learning experience, Athletics Ireland promised to conduct a post-Olympic review of the selection and appeals processes and their impact on all involved.

But with just three days to go until the Games’ official opening, Foley said that it was in the best interests of all to put the matter to bed for now.

“We also have to acknowledge that the past three weeks has been enormously difficult for the athletes involved in this appeal process, their families, supporters and friends.

“At this point however there is a final decision as to selection and we believe that it is now in the interests of all, that we focus our attention on the Games themselves. We wish all of the athletes the best of luck in their efforts in London.”

Cuddihy now joins her sister Joanne, Michelle Carey, Claire Bergin, Marian Heffernan and Jessie Barr in the Irish squad for London.

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Niall Kelly

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