Monday, March 29, 2004

Thorpe eliminated from favourite event by Australian swimming: "Earlier yesterday, Thorpe's coach, Tracey Menzies, said he had closed the door on any chance of defending his Olympic 400m crown. A jury had dismissed a protest and Menzies said there would be no more appeals."

Thorpe, described as Australia's or even the world's greatest ever swimmer, the world record holder in the 400m event, the defending Olympic champion, undefeated in 6 years and red hot favourite to win Gold at the Athens Olympics this year, has been eliminated from his favourite event by Australian Swimming on a technicality. It must surely be one of the most absurd decisions since Dawn Fraser was chucked out.

Aust. swimming could have had a rule on the books that the final avenue of appeal on any matter be the Patron, eg a Governor or Governor-General. Such a figure would ordinarily never get involved in administration and decision making, but if there were a problem such as this an appeal could be made and granted, provided that the case was overwhlemingly strong and public support was overwhelmingly present. In the current case they are stuck with a decision which would make us a laughing stock to other countries.

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