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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Coates rules out last-minute reprieve for Manou and Ross

Coates rules out last-minute reprieve for Manou and Ross

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Coates rules out last-minute reprieve for Manou and Ross

By Daniel Lane
Sydney Morning Herald
July 11, 2012

No Olympics ... Australian athlete Tamsyn Manou.
Photo: Max Mason-Hubers

Australian Olympic Committee boss John Coates will not overrule Athletics Australia a second time and will accept AA's decision to omit B-standard qualifiers Josh Ross and Tamsyn Manou from the Olympic Games squad.

Fairfax understands 100m sprinter Ross * and former world 800m indoor champion Manou will not be named in the athletics squad despite recording B-standard times in the lead-up to the Olympics.

Coates, as the head of the AOC, used his discretionary power to select steeplechaser Genevieve LaCaze in the team when AA refused to add her name to the team because she posted an A-qualifying standard time a day after the June 11 deadline, which was subsequently extended to July 8.

His action strained the relationship between the AOC and AA but Coates remained unrepentant, describing it as "heartbreaking" and a "nonsense" to think red tape could deny LaCaze an Olympic berth.

However, Coates said he could not do the same in the cases of Manou and Ross because in regards to B-standard qualifying teams the AOC needed to respect the judgment of each national sporting body.

"We intervened in the case of Genevieve because she did an A qualifier and the issue was what was the deadline . . . what was an appropriate deadline," Coates told Fairfax. "We have to respect the right of our national associations to determine what their criteria is [to select], so our position is we'll select everyone who qualifies under the rules of the international federation and is nominated by their national federation. We aren't in a position to tell a sport you should send the B qualifiers and we would not even comment on whether they should. They're the expert of their own sport and you have to trust them to know where they want to be heading with their sport in the future - whether they want to be encouraging athletes for future games using B qualifiers.

"That's the matter they have to decide, but they can [do it] in the knowledge and against the background the AOC will take whoever they nominate to us and whoever qualifies."

* Josh Ross is in the Olympic athletics team as part of the 4 x 100m relay team.

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