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Northern Eire trio Rhys McClenaghan, Eamon Montgomery and Ewan McAteer have all been banned by...

Northern Eire trio Rhys McClenaghan, Eamon Montgomery and Ewan McAteer have all been banned by the FIG from competing on the Commonwealth Video games in Birmingham this summer time as a result of they’ve represented Eire at different tournaments

Final Up to date: 28/05/22 9:01am

Rhys McClenaghan received his 2018 Commonwealth Video games gold medal as a Northern Eire gymnast

The Worldwide Gymnastics Federation (FIG) says Northern Eire’s Rhys McClenaghan could have to surrender Irish nationality to defend his Commonwealth Video games title in Birmingham.

McClenaghan, Northern Eire’s solely gold medal winner on the 2018 Video games, has been banned – together with team-mates Eamon Montgomery and Ewan McAteer – as a result of they’ve represented Eire at main tournaments the place Northern Eire don’t compete.

Commonwealth Video games NI say the FIG has ‘fully disregarded’ the Good Friday Settlement, whereas McClenaghan himself accused them of failing to grasp ‘the distinctive state of affairs pertaining to Northern Eire’.

The FIG has outlined two potential options – one being for the three athletes to surrender their Irish gymnastics licence and the opposite for the Commonwealth Video games Federation to take away the related gymnastics competitions from the FIG calendar.

Gymnastics is the one sport inflicting such points, with most of the 90-strong Northern Eire squad in Birmingham additionally representing Eire at worldwide degree – a standard prevalence following the signing of the peace deal in 1998.

Nevertheless, the Republic of Eire don’t compete on the Commonwealth Video games and that has been the case because the 1940s.

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McClenaghan, 22, stated: “I used to be born in Northern Eire, my residence is in Northern Eire and I represented and received gold for Northern Eire within the final Commonwealth Video games. I really feel that FIG don’t perceive the gravity of the Belfast Settlement.

“Each different sport perceive the eligibility of Northern Irish athletes in accordance with the Commonwealth Video games.”

McClenaghan represented Ireland at the delayed 2020 Olympic Games (PA Images)

McClenaghan represented Eire on the delayed 2020 Olympic Video games (PA Pictures)

In a press release to Sky Sports activities Information, the FIG described the primary rationale for the choice as ‘a violation of the FIG Statutes and guidelines’.

The assertion added: “Gymnasts participating in any worldwide competitors sanctioned by the FIG will need to have a legitimate FIG licence of the nationwide federation they symbolize.”

Irish registered gymnasts have been allowed to compete for Northern Eire on the 2018 Video games, when McClenaghan received pommel horse gold in Australia.