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'A Complete Joke' - Irish Athlete Angered By Situation At European Championships

'A Complete Joke' - Irish Athlete Angered By Situation At European Championships
By PJ Browne Updated

Four years ago in Helsinki Fionnuala McCormack finished fourth in the 10000m at the European Championships. On Wednesday, in Amsterdam, it was same result for the 31-year-old Dubliner.

McCormack finished seven second behind Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal of Norway in the bronze medal position.

It was the participation of winner Yasemin Can of Turkey which angered the Irish athlete. The Turkish runner was born in Kenya and formally known as Vivian Jemutai. 19-years-old, Can was only cleared to compete for Turkey four months ago.

After the race, McCormack told RTE Sport about how she felt Can being allowed to run for Turkey was a 'complete joke'.

There doesn’t seem to be anything that can be done about it. People are taking such a soft approach to this. I think it’s a joke really and it’s not because I have come fourth. I think it’s the same in every sport. People shouldn’t be allowed hop countries whenever they feel like it.

It’s a dangerous country to be living in (Turkey), why would you just decide to represent them? I have no idea and I don’t think it should be allowed.

This whole thing is a complete joke. I’ve said it to people at the top and they have basically just said it’s not something you have a choice in.

You go and do it (change country representation) because you are told to do it and it makes it look good to the rest of the public.

McCormack's argument was something with which both Sonia O'Sullivan and Jerry Kiernan agreed with on RTÉ. Kiernan claimed that Can has never even stepped foot on Turkish soil.

Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

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