Claire Trevett

Claire Trevett is the New Zealand Herald’s deputy political editor.

Govt will watch for future Olympic blunders

Valerie Adams. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Valerie Adams. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Sport minister Murray McCully says the Government will be watching closely to make sure lessons are learned from the blunder which meant athletes including Valerie Adams were not properly entered in the Olympics.

At the request of Adams' manager Nick Cowan, Mr McCully expected to meet with Cowan, Athletics NZ and the Olympic Committee later this week to discuss the problem.

Murray McCully said he was "disappointed" by what he was told about the treatment of Adams at the Olympics, including the blunder in her entry form which was only resolved at the last minute.

Mr McCully would not confirm further claims in the Herald on Sunday that Adams' had also run into trouble in her room allocation and had again been questioned about her entry while in the holding rooms prior to her event.

"I'm not going to confirm any of those statements, but I do regard myself as having been very fully informed about the deficiencies in the process.

I would say I am disappointed with some of the material I've seen and there is a proper process for addressing those concerns."

He said it was up to the Olympic Committee to resolve the matter, but it was "entirely reasonable" for Cowan to ask for the meeting.

"I think it was felt that this would underline the importance of the appropriate lessons being learned. I don't want to usurp the role of the Olympic Committee. But we are a significant stakeholder and will be taking a close interest in ensuring all lessons are learned."

He said he was delighted by indications from Adams that she would stay in the sport for Rio 2016.

"She's 27, she's going to be around for a long time yet so it's very important that we get things right from here."

Labour's sports spokeswoman Louisa Wall said it was clear that back up systems should be in place to ensure such problems did not happen. She did not believe the official involved should be blamed.

- NZ Herald

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