Josh Ross considers withdrawing from Olympics if he doesn't get answers

Ross threatens Olympic walkout

By Daniel Lane
Sydney Morning Herald
Date July 25, 2012

Josh Ross … “All I wanted is an answer, a simple answer.” Photo: Getty Images

Sprinter Josh Ross is warning the Australian Olympic Committee he will abandon the London Games if he does not receive a legitimate explanation for the reason behind his federation failing to nominate him to race in the 100 metres individual event.

Ross, who is a member of Australia’s 4x100m relay team, is eligible to compete in the Olympics blue riband event because he clocked 10:23 seconds – a B-qualifying standard time – at the nationals earlier this year and at a recent meet in Europe.

I’ve been trying to get answers but because it’s always being hand-balled to other people it’s been difficult to find a straight answer

However, he has reached breaking point after Athletics Australia officials would not tell him why he was overlooked. Melissa Breen was nominated for the women’s 100m after she ran a B-standard time and selectors will soon choose between fellow B-qualifiers Steve Solomon and John Steffensen to compete in the 400m event.

“I’m actually thinking about pulling out all together if I don’t get answers,” Ross said. “I’ll actually be happy to pull out if I don’t get answers to why I wasn’t nominated for the 100m.”

Ross said he was committed to sacrificing his place at the Olympics and would “have to” live with what many people would consider an extreme action because – after coming out of retirement and giving his all to represent Australia at London – he has felt a distinct lack of respect from his sport’s officialdom.

“All I wanted is an answer, a simple answer,” he said. “I’m doing this because I haven’t got any answers personally. I’ve been trying to get answers but because it’s always being hand-balled to other people it’s been difficult to find a straight answer. The strangest thing of all is I’m trying to find out why they nominated Steve Solomon and John Steffensen to run but didn’t want to nominate me.

“Am I not good enough? Am I not good enough to them to run the 100m when I have proven time and time again that Josh Ross always comes through with the goods . . . ‘Am I not good enough to be nominated?’ That is the big question – although it is a strange question.”

Ross believed such a stance was required to ultimately improve the lot for Australia’s athletes. He could not understand why his federation would not nominate the likes of himself or Tamsyn Manou (nee Lewis), a triple Olympian and former world indoor champion who was not even selected for the team despite posting a B-qualifier for the 800m .

Great Britain has nominated athletes who have run B-qualifying times in the men’s 100m and women’s 800m.

“There is a bigger picture than just me not running or Tamsyn and whoever else,” Ross said. “You have to look at the future of the sport, the up-and-coming athletes. We have the best 400m sprinter [Steffensen] that we’ve ever seen on the team and he’s not [picked yet]; we have our best 100m sprinter and he’s not making it … the younger athletes must be thinking ‘if they’re not making it what hope do I have?’ I think it is time to fix athletics in this country and [for the officials] to do things the right way.

“If we don’t speak up now and make stands to change the sport it will never happen, I just want you to know this is [the reason for] my stand.”

Ross said the chance for him to compete against Jamaica’s world champion Usain Bolt, history’s fastest man, would perhaps help AA to inspire youngsters to remain in a sport that constantly loses its best prospects to the football codes.

“Australians want to see Australians compete,” he said. “The fact is I’m here in London [where I’m being accommodated, clothed and fed] so why not let me run?”

There’s a group of people very disappointed and frustrated that Josh Ross has not been entered in the individual 100m. Josh hasn’t put us up to this, but we have started a campaign to get him into the individual 100m.

If you are keen to see Australia represented in the men’s 100m then please ‘Like’ the facebook page and perhaps leave a comment.

There’s a very good article that puts into perspective Josh’s battles with no AA funding and little support to getto where he is today…

And this all started on Monday when someone vented their anger on an Australian pro-running forum.

He made two mistakes:

  1. He was running well and left his coach.
  2. Got into serious relationships with women who distracted him.

So are they scared he will get blown up and not make it out the qualifiers? Its not like they have ever been a major world sprint force. I say let him run. He will smoke the 11.5 sec shot putter the middle east sends.

Your points are noted, however, I’m not qualified to speak on if he should run or not.

Josh ran a B qualifier of 10.23 when he won the Olympic trial. Josh Ross recently ran 10.23 again to win the 100m in Italy under his current coach.

Coaching changes aside, he is in better shape than many others who will be lining up for the 100m in London.

Amazing that a woefully out-of-form Steffensen is nominated as a reserve for the 400 after his outburst over Solomon being nominated, yet Josh Ross doesn’t get any consideration for the 100m. Josh has said nothing until now, and only as a result of no action by AA.

Steffensen will run the 400 if Solomon pulls out.

As they say…Barking dogs get fed first.

Mind you, it’s not like he is paying himself to get over there!
It’s a privilege, not a right to compete at these games,
Knuckle down and get to work at making a fantastic 4*100m team.

Interesting at the moment.

My understanding is that Ross is suggesting that he should run because both Breen and Solomon are selected. Breen has been selected based on the Rio clause (I believe) and Solomon should be nominated on the same clause (although I don’t believe this is the case)

If Solomon has not been selected on the Rio clause, I feel to be fair to the other B qualified athletes he should not get to run individual berth - being Lewis, Ross and others (I think)

I actually think Ross should get a run in the individual, as should Steffensen and Lewis.

With one week to go, they need to knuckle down and the team work going and keep themselves out of it and let the team behind them do the work.

The only Australian to win an Olympic medal in the men’s 100m is Hec Hogan in Melbourne (1956) when he won the bronze medal. Since 1956 Australia has had 18 representatives in the men’s 100m at the Olympic Games.

The fastest an Australian has run at the Olympics is Matt Shirvington (Sydney, 2000) who ran 10.13 in a quarter final before running 10.26 in the semi final. Shirvo was 10th out of a field of 99 athletes.

Josh Ross ran 10.24 (heat) and 10.22 (quarter final) in Athens in 2004 to finish 19th overall from a field of 84 athletes. Josh is the second fastest behind Shirvo but more importantly he has the second and third fastest times ever by an Aussie at the Olympics. He is also the fastest ever at an ‘away’ Olympics.

Fastest Aussies at an Olympic Games. (<10.70)
10.13 (+0.8.) Matt Shirvington (Sydney 2000)
10.22 (-0.1) Josh Ross (Athens 2004)
10.24 (+0.9) Josh Ross (Athens 2004)
10.26 (+0.2) Matt Shirvington (Sydney 2000)
10.31 (-0.6) Patrick Johnson (Sydney 2000)
10.35 (-1.0) Matt Shirvington (Sydney 2000)
10.35 (+5.3) Bob Lay (Tokyo 1964)
10.42 (+1.8.) Bob Lay (Tokyo 1964)
10.44 (+0.2) Patrick Johnson (Sydney 2000)
10.52 (+0.3) Paul DiBella (Sydney 2000)
10.52 (+2.0) Paul Henderson (Atlanta 1996)
10.52 (+0.8.) Peter Van Miltenberg (Los Angeles 1984)
10.53 (+0.2) Bob Lay (Tokyo 1964)
10.55 (-0.8.) Paul Narracott (Los Angeles 1984)
10.55 (-0.4) Peter Van Miltenberg (Los Angeles 1984)
10.55 (0.0) Greg Lewis (Mexico City 1968)
10.56 (+0.3) Rod Mapstone (Atlanta 1996)
10.60 (-0.7) Paul Narracott (Los Angeles 1984)
10.60 (+1.9) Bill Earle (Tokyo 1964)
10.61 (-0.8.) Fred Martin (Los Angeles 1984)
10.62 (-1.1) Hec Hogan (Melbourne 1956)
10.64 (+0.8.) Fred Martin (Los Angeles 1984)
10.69 (+0.2) Gary Holdsworth (Tokyo 1964)

It’s probably fair to say that outside of Matt Shirvington in 2000, Josh Ross (with a recent 10.23) is going into these Olympics in the best form of any Australian 100m athlete in Olympic history. Yet he’s being denied a chance to run in the heats. The more you look into it the more realise that there’s more to this than him simply not running the A standard.

By the way, I’m not comfortable with this suggestion of pulling out if not selected fro the 100m. I agree he should be concentrating on the relay and any discussions need to be done behind closed doors.

Just one more note in respect to others like Tamsyn Manou and Lachlan Renshaw, neither of them are in the team. Josh is already there in the team, it’s just a matter of some boofhead from AA nominating him for the 100m individual event. If Josh was not there as part of the relay, this would not be an issue.