Athletics

Sergiu Ciobanu's failed appeal over Rio snub cost Athletics Ireland over €75,000

Sergiu Ciobanu failed in his appeal over his omission from the Rio Olympics
Malcolm McCausland

IT had been the subject of rumour and speculation for months but it has now been confirmed that Sergiu Ciobanu’s failed appeal against his non-selection for the Rio Olympics cost Athletics Ireland over €75,000.

The former Moldovan came to Ireland in 2005 and switched allegiance to this country in 2014. Despite recording the third fastest marathon time by an Irish athlete in the run-up to Rio, he was omitted in favour of Paul Pollock who had a superior competition record.

Ciobanu (above) brought an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne contending that Athletics Ireland were unclear in their selection policy. CAS dismissed the case in time to allow Pollock to take his place in the Olympic marathon where he was first Irish finisher.

The cost to Athletics Ireland in legal and other fees was “over €75,000” as confirmed by treasurer George Maybury to the association’s AGM last Saturday.

This unexpected expense may have led to the cancellation last autumn of several cross country camps and trips abroad for Ireland’s top juniors and youths.

Ciobanu (33) won the national marathon title, held in conjunction with the Dublin Marathon, last October but failed to meet the qualification standard of 2:17 for the World Championships in London this August. Ciobanu’s marathon best is 2:15:14 from Berlin in 2015 and his fastest half-marathon time was set three years earlier when he ran 64:48 in Omagh.

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