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Olympic appeal short on time

20th May 2008

The dispute over Ireland's Olympic star nomination continues, with an official appeal lodged yesterday by rejected contenders Max Treacy and Anthony Shanks.

The appeal was filed just an hour ahead of the official deadline, 5.30pm, and only ten weeks ahead of the first race in the Olympics.

The Irish Sailing Association confirmed that they had received appeal documents yesterday, and will now have to put the appeal firstly to the Olympic Steering Group that initially rejected Treacy and Shanks as contenders, and then put it to a full ISA tribunal.

The appeal poses a challenge to all involved, as jumping through all the official hoops could take more time than either side can afford.

Composing the ten-person ISA tribunal committee could take up to four weeks, all of which represents lost training time to Treacy and Shanks, who believe they should be going to Qingdao for the Olympics.

Meanwhile, the ISA's initial nomination has been shelved by the Olympic Council of Ireland until all appeals have run their course. Theoretically, and depending on how long the appeal runs, that could see the OCI reject the current nominees in the Star, Peter O'Leary and Stephen Milne and prevent any Irish representative from taking part in the Games.

Should Treacy and Shanks come away from their various meetings with the ISA unsatisfied, they are entitled to appeal further, to the Lucerne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) which can take up to six months to hear cases.

In order to get an Irish sailor to Qingdao at all, the ISA will have to push through the procedures at breackneck speed. The challenge now is not to get sailors to the podium - it's to get them to the starting line.

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Previous Afloat items on this story:

When you wish upon a Star Star appeal expected today
Appeal halts Olympic squad launch
Olympic update - launches and litigation
Star choice turns tabloid Team

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