Karel Delvoije/INPHO Ciobanu has been living in Ireland since 2006.
# end of the road to rio
Irish marathon runner's Olympic appeal rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport
Sergiu Ciobanu is now focusing on winning a place for Tokyo 2020.

SERGIU CIOBANU’S OLYMPIC dream is over after the Court of Arbitration for Sport today rejected his appeal against Athletics Ireland.

The Moldovan-born athlete was controversially excluded from Ireland’s three-man marathon team for the Olympics, despite the 32-year-old running the third fastest time of the Irish qualifiers.

Instead, Belfast-born athlete Paul Pollock was chosen ahead of Ciobanu by Athletics Ireland, and he will join Mick Clohisey and Kevin Seaward on the three-man squad for Rio.

Ciobanu had already appealed directly to Athletics Ireland but an Independent Appeals Committee decided that the association made ‘no error’ in choosing their three athletes to represent Ireland in Rio this summer, although their reason for omitting Ciobanu in their selection was not made clear.

Speaking after CAS’s verdict, Ciobanu expressed his disappointment over the decision but has vowed to work towards qualifying for Tokyo 2020:

“I am very disappointed not to have the opportunity to represent Ireland at the 2016 Olympics, a country I have called home since 2006,” Ciobanu said.

Having run for Ireland in the past, I was hopeful that my recent performances as per the Athletics Ireland qualification guidelines, together with my track record would enable me to run for my country.

“That said, I fully respect the decision of CAS and certainly wish each and every member of the Irish marathon team every success at Rio and have no doubt that they will represent Ireland with pride.

“I also look forward to continuing my close relationship with Athletics Ireland over the next four years as I set my sights on Tokyo 2020.

I took this necessary action to highlight the lack of clarity that I believe currently exists for many Irish athletes, all of whom make great sacrifices to represent their country.

“I will continue to seek to represent Ireland and I would call on Athletics Ireland to ensure greater transparency and clarity in their qualification requirements to safeguard athletes in the future. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my family and all those who have supported me in my appeal.”

The42 is on Snapchat! Tap the button below on your phone to add!

Meet Ireland’s Olympic team: Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey

One-year ban announced for ex-Shels midfielder due to anti-doping violation

Your Voice
Readers Comments