Athletes First – Athletes’ Commission Comment on Karate

Statement from Shane O’Connor, Chairman, Athletes’ Commission of the Olympic Federation of Ireland


Over the past 2 weeks our Athletes’ Commission was approached by an athlete in relation to the Karate Ireland ONAKAI team who competed at the recent World Championships in Madrid.  Concerns were raised in relation to the difficult position these athletes found themselves in as a result of changes to the Karate Ireland ONAKAI support team for the Madrid World Championships. This was subsequently reported in the media prior to the commencement of the World Championships.


While we (the Athletes’ Commission) fully appreciate that the true path of sport is rarely smooth, and that those working within sport generally do so with the best of intentions, it is important to highlight that where challenges do arise, we must all do our utmost to ensure that the athletes and their preparations are not adversely impacted.


Commenting, Shane O’Connor, Chair of the Athletes’ Commission


“As Chair of the OFI Athletes’ Commission I was approached directly by an athlete in relation to the issues within Karate Ireland ONAKI. The Athletes’ Commission are committed, through our Strategic Plan, to promotion and safeguarding of Athlete Welfare and providing for Athlete Advocacy. I am saddened that an athlete felt the need to contact me in an effort to escalate what could be considered a welfare concern, but I am also thankful we can offer some support. With the World Championships complete I urge those involved to prioritize the issue and seek a resolution and if necessary, through mediation. And of course, in doing so remaining cognisant of the importance to insulate Karate Ireland ONAKAI athletes from the issues at hand.”

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