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Olympic Gambling Nightmare Begins With Irish Athlete Inquiry

The Olympics are a time every four years where countries come together to figure out who has the best athletes in the world in a particular sport. The games, however, have been marred in the past by gambling scandals, and it appears the first scandal of the 2012 Olympics has arisen.

The International Olympic Council has a strong stance against any form of gambling on the games. Although regulated sports books offer odds on the different events, the IOC has long forbidden the athletes to take part in these wagers. An Irish Olympian appears to have not heeded the warning of the IOC.

Ireland's Olympic Council is investigating an unnamed athlete, after reports surfaced that the athlete has not only bet on himself, but also on his competition. If the allegations prove to be true, the Olympian likely faces a forfeiture of any medals won at the 2012 London Olympics, and would be subject to several additional sanctions.

The IOC will likely not make any ruling on the athlete's status until after the Irish committee finished their investigation. The process is expected to take months, meaning the athlete in question will be permitted to compete, and forfeitures would come if he won a medal.

According to the report published in the Independent, the athlete made two separate bets the day before the event was scheduled to begin. The two bets were both placed at 12/1 odds on one of the athletes competitors. The bets paid off $4,432 on the first bet, and $656 on the second. The Independent also claims to have documented evidence of the athlete withdrawing the winning funds from a bookmaker.

The Irish have already been dealing with several issues leading up to the London Olympics, and now they must deal with the fallout from the gambling scandal. Ireland officials are trying to ensure that all legal bases are covered before they make their ruling.

"This is fraught with legal issues," said Ireland Olympic Council President Pat Hickey. "Right now our priority is not to cause any unnecessary upset to the competitors."

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