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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Liar liar, but Steffensen still in line

Liar liar, but Steffensen still in line

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1 Liar liar, but Steffensen still in line on Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:32 pm

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Liar liar, but Steffensen still in line

Date July 18, 2012
Samantha Lane, London

LABELLING the chief executive of Athletics Australia a ''liar'' and challenging the Olympic chef de mission are apparently not sins enough for John Steffensen to incur the wrath of the Australian Olympic Committee.

Olympic team boss Nick Green deflected comparisons to his heavy-handed sanctioning of swimmers Kenrick Monk and Nick D'Arcy, who have been ordered home from the London Games as soon they finish competing and banned from social media after they posted pictures of themselves posing with guns in an American shop.

Green said only that Steffensen - who stands to run in the 4 x 400 metre relay and is pushing to take Steve Solomon's run in the individual event - was being ''monitored'' before he checks into the Games village.

Steffensen continues to post streams of criticism about Athletics Australia chief Dallas O'Brien on his Twitter account and has taken to commenting on Green's response to muddled circumstances that led to him being named as a reserve in the individual 400 metres, seemingly against O'Brien's wishes.

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On Monday, Steffensen tweeted, ''Dallas u can't lie no more! I have a paper trail for days! Save your self n start telling the truth! U can't hide behind bias media!''

After Green said on Monday he was disappointed by Steffensen's response to being displaced by Solomon, and claims that racism was a factor in Athletics Australia's selection decision, the dual Commonwealth Games gold medallist hit back with a public dare to the chef de mission to phone him. Steffensen tweeted: ''Nick green if your so disappointed why dnt you call me to find out the problem!! U talk to the media like u no (sic) the facts!! I dnt even no (sic) u!!''

Green said yesterday he had every right to comment on Steffensen as a member of Australia's Olympic team, but the AOC's view is that Steffensen has yet to cross a line that would incur a sanction under the team's social media policy like Monk and D'Arcy did. When he issued the sanction to the swimmers Green, who has taken over from John Coates as chef de mission, said it was the most difficult decision of his tenure.

''He's a member of our team. I'm entitled to make comments on members of our team. His comments on Dallas O'Brien, Dallas can deal with them separately, they've got nothing to do with the team,'' Green said.

''From the postings I've seen, no [he hasn't crossed the line]. If he continues to snipe away we'll have to deal with it - as it stands in terms of the entry, Solomon is entered in the 400 and John Steffensen is the reserve.

''The decision we made against the swimmers is completely different to this issue here with John Steffensen. So we'll keep them separate and we'll deal with them separately.''

The AOC drew up a social media policy for the Olympics, but is resigned to the fact that it will have vastly less control over the messages athletes send home from the Games. In a pre-Olympics education seminar on the dangers of social media that the AOC presented to as many prospective team members as possible, Stephanie Rice was used as an example after she apologised in 2010 for her ''suck on that faggots!'' tweet in relation to an Australian win over South Africa in the Tri Nations.

''I encourage athletes to tweet, absolutely,'' Green said yesterday.

''What we've been stressing with them on the way is just use it wisely and use it responsibly.''


Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/olympics/athletics-london-2012/liar-liar-but-steffensen-still-in-line-20120717-228gq.html#ixzz20wJ1qs10

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