Macronozaris loses funding appeal, may switch nationality

Nicolas Macrozonaris, Canada’s 100m-sprint champion, has lost yet another funding appeal, his 3rd. The decision was handed down yesterday by Sport Canada.

The 26-year-old Montrealer, reached today at his home, is considering going forward with a 4th and final appeal to the Canadian Sports Tribunal. The financial consideration at issue is roughly 18,000 $Cdn, tax-free.

While the current medical-card appeals process covers funding for the now completed 2006 season, a new season and new funding issue looms for 2007. Despite winning his 3rd Canadian 100m title in Ottawa last month - and posting a multi-season best time of 10.28 sec. in the semifinals - there has been no assurance from Athletics Canada (AC) that Macrozonaris will be carded for next season.

What irks Macrozonaris even more is that of the 6 medical cards granted by AC in 2005 (for the 2006 season), only 2 of the 6 athletes actually hit a standard in 2006. Given that medicals cards are supposed to go to the athletes AC deems to be the most capable of returning to competition and hitting standards, it would appear that four of AC’s choices faired much worse than Macrozonaris this past season.

Macrozonaris also confirmed today that following his Ottawa win, he asked Athletics Canada for assistance with travel expenses he was to incur for a series of European races following his Ottawa victory. AC chief Joanne Mortimore denied that request.

Adding further insult to injury, Macrozonaris’ name was not included on a list of 25 Canadian athletes that AC deemed to be Canada’s best hopes for Beijing 2008.

“I really don’t want to deal with this funding issue any longer,” said Macrozonaris earlier today. “And I don’t really want to risk this happening to me again in 2007 or any future year,” he added.

Macrozonaris continued: “You have this funding issue, as well as the issue I have raised in the past about qualifying standards. Apparently AC will set the “A” standard for 2006 at 10.13 sec. No other federation in the world that I know of makes it as tough to qualify as Athletics Canada. And, I was not invited to be a part of the 25 athletes AC will strongly support as we head towards Beijing.

“There does not appear to be a common vision here between Athletics Canada and myself, and that’s unfortunate. We therefore have had some preliminary discussions with officials in Greece about my competing for them.”

Greek citizenship would be a formality at this point for Macrozonaris, whose father was born in Greece – hence he has had the right to Greek citizenship from birth. The only minor hurdle would be the IAAF’s one-year competition restriction.

“It is quite sad that it might come to this,” added Macrozonaris. “The province of Quebec has been great to me all along, but I can’t compete for them alone. I need to look out for my future, and that means having complete and total support from one’s country.”

Any media questions on the issue of Mr. Macrozonaris and his competing for Greece should be directed to his representative on this matter, Mr. Christopher G. Galakoutis of CMI Ventures LLC, a Connecticut, USA based sports consultancy. Mr. Galakoutis can be emailed at

That sucks. National champ again and no funding. What the hell?

Why congradulate and help winners when we aim for those all important “participant” ribbons

Good luck to Nic in greece

I hope he goes and has a tonne of success. What the hell is wrong with AC?! :mad:

Same here. No idea why athletics Canada has been doing this or similar to undeserving athletes.

How sad… good luck to him. I know for certain that he will have state of the art facilities to train in. In Athens there an indoor/athlete center for elite athletes that caters to all their needs. He will be well looked after.

You seem to have been there, martn76. What’s your experience? Thanks!

I trained with two Greek athletes who used the facility extensively does that qualify? Thanks!

Sure it does! Facilities and support -whatever that includes- are two different things though!
It should be an interesting case. All the best to him! :slight_smile:

jean butler she left canada to compete for england, and she chose well,i hope NICK gets out of canada so the greek federation can work on him… Canada is a disgrace, if it were my decision i would not let canadian athlete compete abroad until locked funding exists.

ciao Staff
Saturday, September 9 2006 5:41:54 AM

It would appear that the Nicolas Macrozonaris affair has entered the political arena, with a member of the Quebec government coming forward to throw his support behind the Laval sprinter.

Richard Legendre, a former athlete himself and former Minister of Sport for the Parti-Quebecois - and current deputy from Blainville with head of the opposition duties for the sport and family dossier - has issued a tersely worded Press Communiqué dated September 8.

“We can not allow the loss of an elite athlete like Nicolas Macrozonaris for reasons that appear to be of an administrative nature,” said Legendre.

“I am therefore asking Athletics Canada to find an acceptable and durable solution to this issue. Our athletes need our support and must not be burdened with administrative issues that take away from their training and athletic pursuits. A solution must be found quickly before Nicolas turns the page on this situation.”

there is supposed to be a point system in place. can anyone reproduce the points list to show who received funding who ranked below Nick in points- and just who their coaches were?? And the names of those on the decision making committee. Is there an overlap??

lol, crap like that is everywhere, not just limited to the sporting field either. its rife in the work place, here in australia anyway.

It can be checked though - always a good thing

Just wondering, how easy is it to pick up and go run for another country?

Tuesday, October 3 2006 2:56:33 PM

Nicolas Macrozonaris has put an end to his funding appeal procedure. The following was posted on his official website today.

Needing to focus on the upcoming season and keep all other distractions to a minimum, I have decided to not pursue a final appeal otherwise available in my Sport Canada funding case.

We all compete with minor injuries from time to time. An athlete in such a case who believes he may not meet a performance standard for a given year can, under the current system, simply choose to not compete for 4 months and apply for a medical card. Under Athletics Canada’s non-subjective review, he stands a good chance of retaining his funding as long as he mails his application on time.

In the summer of 2005, after having missed most of the outdoor season due to a groin injury, I was mainly preoccupied with returning to competition as soon as possible, so that I could finish in the top 4 at nationals. I knew that if I did that, I would be in a position to help the 4x100m relay team in Helsinki, even if I could not perform at the highest level in the individual event. The last thing on my mind was taking the summer off, a 4-month countdown and trip to Canada Post.

The goals I had set for myself for that year, despite my injury, were met. I finished in the top-4 at nationals and did indeed travel to Helsinki and competed with the Canadian 4x100m team. If I had to do it all over, I would do the same thing.

Athletics Canada officials, who sit comfortably in their offices earning much higher salaries than the athletes who enable that lifestyle, opted for the penny-wise but pound-foolish approach in my case, instead of taking a hard, critical look at all the facts as well as big picture.

For the good of our sport, the process for assessing cases such as these in the future must change. If it does not and a similar travesty is allowed to unfold, then someone at Athletics Canada must be held accountable.

Lastly, I want to thank my family, friends and the fans that have supported me throughout this ordeal.

Nicolas Macrozonaris