Post-Games shake-up for AA
by: Peter Kogoy
July 02, 2012
ATHLETICS Australia is to undergo a major overhaul after the London Olympics that will include the role of national high-performance manager Eric Hollingsworth, The Australian has learned.
The review will be carried out by AA chief executive Dallas O'Brien, who will report back to directors before the sport's annual meeting in November.
"It is part of a strategic look at all aspects of the sport, including the high-performance area, which is one of athletics' key pillars," O'Brien said.
"We've already implemented a number of changes, including the recent appointment of a participation manager."
O'Brien last night confirmed the strategic review included looking at splitting the high-performance manager's role currently filled by Hollingsworth into two distinct and separate roles of coaching and finance.
The review comes in the wake of the AA board's decision to effectively gag Hollingsworth over his decision to initially not nominate steeplechaser Genevieve LeCaze last month.
The gag order came after AOC president John Coates intervened on the athlete's behalf, calling for her to be invited on to the team after setting an A qualifying time in the 3000m steeplechase just 48 hours after AA's selection deadline had passed.
There is also a groundswell of support to have Hollingsworth removed altogether should Australia fail to win the six-medal target he set for London.
The Australian has also learned that selectors Dion Russell, Melinda Gainsford-Taylor and Steve Moneghetti are at loggerheads with Hollingworth over the direction he's taken the sport. Hollingsworth took over as national high-performance director after Beijing.
"His position has grown to include both administration and who and how much and where money is spent," one informed stakeholder, who asked not to be named, told The Australian.
O'Brien also confirmed that Hollingsworth had been cleared of a complaint alleging inappropriate behaviour at last year's world championships in South Korea.
"Raising the issue after the matter was thoroughly investigated 10 months ago shows there is some sort of witchhunt within AA's senior ranks who don't agree with Hollingworth's methods," O'Brien said.
Hollingsworth didn't return The Australian's calls yesterday.
Meanwhile, a date has yet to be fixed for three-time Olympian Tamsyn Manou's appeal hearing against her non-selection despite posting a B-standard time.
The cut-off date for naming athletes competing in London, set by the International Association of Athletics Federations, is July 8.