Home News Athletics Ireland confirms McGonagle misconduct probe

Athletics Ireland confirms McGonagle misconduct probe


from the Irish Examiner website By Brendan Mooney
ATHLETICS Ireland chiefs confirmed yesterday that the Chair of High Performance, Patsy McGonagle is under investigation — as revealed in yesterday’s Irish Examiner
The body also confirmed an instruction had gone out that there was to be no contact between him and the staff at headquarters while the investigation was ongoing.

However AAI denied claims Pierce O’Callaghan had signed a contract to work for Athletics Ireland, insisting that while Mr O’Callaghan was in negotiations (with Athletics Ireland), he subsequently withdrew his candidacy.

“Any other suggestion is inaccurate. In response to today’s reports in the Irish media, Athletics Ireland can confirm that Patsy McGonagle, Chair of the High Performance Committee, is currently being investigated by an independent body relating to allegations of gross misconduct,” a statement issued by their spokesman, Declan Lee, said.

“In this regard the Board of Athletics Ireland has suspended Mr McGonagle’s contact with Athletics Ireland staff while the investigation is ongoing.”

Meanwhile, IAAF president Lamine Diack has blasted Jacques Rogge for showing “a lack of respect” to athletics after his IOC counterpart gave the green light for the track at the 2012 Olympic stadium to be ripped up after the Games.

Rogge said he would be happy for the stadium in east London to be put to any use, including hosting a football club, so long as it did not become a “white elephant” — even if that meant it was not suitable for track and field.

That would break a commitment by the London 2012 bid, which acknowledged there are currently no suitable venues for a major international athletics events in the English capital.

Diack said: “As the leader of the world governing body for athletics, I think this shows a lack of respect for my sport. As an IOC member myself, I voted for the host city for the 2012 Games in Singapore and, obviously, one of the most compelling arguments in favour of London was the fact that the city desperately needed a world class venue for athletics.

“A country like Great Britain, with its magnificent tradition in our sport and a great future ahead of it, surely must be entitled to have a decent athletics stadium in its capital city.

“A promise was made, and I believe it is totally reasonable to expect that the most important sport of the summer Olympics, which is athletics, gets to live on after the three-week period of the Games is over.”

To support his argument, Rogge cited the Olympic stadium in Atlanta, which is now home to Major League Baseball team the Atlanta Braves.

But that is something Diack says is a “great disappointment” for athletics. He said: “The fact that the site of magnificent athletics’ performances such as Carl Lewis’ last Olympic long jump gold or Michael Johnson’s amazing double at 200m and 400m is no longer able to host athletics — is no longer a source of pride or inspiration for young athletes — but instead a bargain venue for professional baseball, is nothing to be proud of at all.

“Today the USA does not have a single venue capable of hosting an IAAF World Championships in athletics.”