Oceania "outrage"

Coach calls for consultation, association says it has been done

Updated October 14, 2008 10:21:54

A senior Oceania athletics coach, Didier Poppe has written to the president of the sport’s world body, saying recent treatment of coaches and athletes has made him ashamed of the IAAF.

Mr Poppe has written to Lamine Diack, saying athletes and coaches weren’t consulted when the Oceania Athletics Association decided to move the High Performance Training Centre from New Zealand.

He says in the letter that the centre’s management was discredited, and the situation is a “true disaster for the already thin, athletic elite of the islands of the Pacific.”

“They have not been properly looked after, when you give scholarship for athletes, it is not just training, it is to give a job, this was not done,” Poppe said.

"When the centre moved to Australia, the athletes have been thrown out and no-one cares about them.

The OAA chief executive, Yvonne Mullins says athletes and coaches were consulted during a meeting in January.

She says no final decision on the location of the training centre has been made, and it will be a decision taken by the IAAF.

Mullins says all training centres are closed until December 1.

She says the OAA has had discussions with athletes about their future. Vanuatu’s Moses Kamut retired after the Olympic games and has asked for a sports development role. Samoa’s Aunese Curreen has been on holiday with his fiance in Cook Islands and has requested education and further athletics training.

Throwers, Tonga’s A’na Pouhila of Tonga, and Cook Islands Teriapi’i Tapoki are negotiating future training, and the OAA is working alongside Fiji sports to keep Olympian Niko Verekauta in athletics, after he was lured to rugby.