IOC Investigating Allegations Irish Olympian Bet on Opponent

An Irish Olympian is being investigated over an allegation that the athlete had bet on his opponent in an event in which they were both competing, according to multiple reports.

A spokesman for Ireland's Olympic Council, which has not released the athlete's name, said the council has informed the athlete it was investigating an anonymous tip that before the 2012 Summer Games, the athlete had placed two bets in favor of an opponent, Reuters reported today.

The International Olympic Council (IOC) strictly forbids gambling, and Pat Hickey, the president of Ireland's Olympic council, said the competitor could face "severe sanctions," including expulsion from the Olympics, if found guilty, the Irish Independent newspaper reported.

The IOC has established a special unit to monitor track betting patterns, Reuters reported.

According to the Independent, which said it had obtained "detailed documentary evidence," the bets were placed the day before the event at a price of 12 to 1. Both bets paid off, and the athlete withdrew 3,600 euro ($4,432) from his account with a bookmaker upon returning from the event, the Independent reported. According to Independent, the first bet won 533 euro ($656) and the second won 3,367 euro ($4,145).

Because the Games are already under way, a finding in the investigation will likely not be made until after the Olympics.

"This is fraught with legal issues," Hickey told the Independent. "Right now our priority is not to cause any unnecessary upset to the competitors."

Sixty-five athletes in 14 sports are in London representing Ireland in the Games, which opened Friday.

The Irish Olympic team has had a rocky road to London. Two Irish athletes, boxer Joe Ward and jumper Denis Lynch fought non-selection cases at the Court of Arbitration for Sport after they were denied spots on the team, and the composition of the Irish women's 400-meter relay team was the subject of a legal battle.