Cathriona Cuddihy is back in the Women's 4x400m relay team after her appeal against the decision of the Athletics Ireland Appeals panel to “de-select” her from the team. She replaces Joanna Mills who will now play no part in the Olympic games unless she appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
In what can be considered a highly unsettling, messy and high drama lead-up to the games, the team will now compete with Cuddihy, except for in the unlikely event that Mills is successful should she try to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for sport.
The statement from the Olympic Council of Ireland's Appeal Tribunal was chaired by Susan Ahern (executive member), William O’Brien (first vice-president) and Dermot Sherlock (hon. Secretary general) was released on Tuesday and states that “Mrs Mills prior appeal to athletics Ireland against her non-selection for the relay team had been upheld and it was against this decision which Ms Cuddihy appealed”
"This tribunal finds that the AIAP did not properly construe Selection Factor No.1 [overall relay experience] and by imposing the interpretation it did, the AIAP itself applied a narrow interpretation which was not contemplated under the Selection Factors.
"The Tribunal further finds in relation to Selection Factor No.2 [overall experience in major championships (individual and relay)] while a broader interpretation could have been applied to the scope of this criteria, namely to include pre-2011 major championship experience including at junior level, that the additional weighting accorded by the AIAP to the experience of Ms Mills in this regard was disproportionate when the totality of the components within Selection Factor No.2 and the weighting accorded to the other athletes based upon their major championship experience and contribution to the relay team were considered.
"Based on these findings the Tribunal upheld the appeal of Catriona Cuddihy, and her original nomination to the OCI as an athlete on the Women’s 4 x 400m relay is reinstated.