Hug seals it: Adams, Bates still 'good friends'

By Alistair McMurran of the Otago Daily Times

Shot put champion Valerie Adams and New Zealand team manager Raylene Bates hug in Dunedin yesterday. Photo / Gerard O'Brien
Shot put champion Valerie Adams and New Zealand team manager Raylene Bates hug in Dunedin yesterday. Photo / Gerard O'Brien

Olympic shot put champion Valerie Adams and Raylene Bates are still friends, embracing each other when they met for the first time since the London Games.

Bates was the manager of the athletics section of the New Zealand Olympic team in London and made the mistake that led to Adams being left off the original shot put start list.

But the pair remain good mates, and Adams bears no ill-will towards Bates for her role in the incident.

"We are good friends," Adams said. "Raylene does so much for the sport.

"Everyone can learn from this year and move on and make sure that nothing like this happens again."

Adams was in Dunedin yesterday to promote her book, Valerie.

Adams was beaten in the shot put by Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus and received the silver medal in London. She had left the Olympic village before she learned of Ostapchuk's positive drug test and her elevation to the gold medal.

Yesterday was the first time time Adams had seen Bates since hearing of her elevation to the gold medal.

Bates, who said last week she would offer no further comment on her role in the mix-up, brought along a bottle of wine and two glasses for the pair to celebrate when they met at a Dunedin cafe.

In her book, Adams said an agreement was made with chef de mission Dave Currie that Bates' name should not be mentioned at the press conference.

Currie did not adhere to the agreement and named Bates as the official responsible for the mistake.

"I felt Dave Currie hung Raylene out to dry. I was really sad about that. I was even more upset to read online that Raylene's husband had revealed how disappointed and upset she was," Adams said in the book.

"It was Dave Currie's decision to name her. I wish she had been given more support and help.

"A mishap happened and people should be held accountable, but I think what was done to Raylene was wrong. In my opinion, Dave Currie was just covering his butt. I believe what was done was very unfair."

- Otago Daily Times

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