Long distance swimmer Kane Radford has been confirmed in the New Zealand Olympic team for Rio after his appeal over his non-nomination was yesterday upheld by the Sports Tribunal.
The Tribunal found there was sound evidence to support Radford's inclusion in the team for Rio and instructed Swimming New Zealand to go back and review its selections. With the cut-off for confirming Olympic spots with FINA closing today, Swimming New Zealand had to make a final decision under urgency.
Swimming NZ said on the basis of the Sports Tribunal's position, it was prudent to nominate Radford for selection.
However the Tribunal did not uphold the appeal from Charlotte Webby claiming there was insufficient evidence to support her appeal.
"The data in Marathon Swimming is more open to conjecture and while our selectors had one position, Kane had another which was ultimately supported by the Sports Tribunal," said Swimming New Zealand chief executive, Christian Renford.
"Our selection criteria and process is open and transparent, and allows our swimmers the opportunity to appeal. We fully support the rights of both Kane and Charlotte to appeal.
"However we continue to fully support our selectors and respect the fact that they have always acted with upmost integrity and in the light of information that they have had available."
Given the tight timeframe, the Sports Tribunal did not release its full decision today, presenting a summary of the key points in the case along with its recommendation.
The Tribunal believed evidence provided by Radford's lawyer, John Munro, which showed the swimmer was interfered with by an Israeli competitor on the finishing straight at point in the race he was placed 10th, should have been taken into consideration. The incident, for which the Israeli swimmer was disqualified, caused Radford to lose around 15 seconds and momentum in the race.
Radford's performances in previous World Cup and Pan Pacific events should also have been given serious consideration by the selectors, the Tribunal ruled.
The panel, made up of Dr Jim Farmer QC and Georgina Earl, believed the selectors should have had regard to the views of Donna Bouzaid, the High Performance Development Coach, that Radford could definitely achieve a top 16 place and had an outside chance of making the top 8.
Swimming New Zealand are yet to comment on the case, but confirmation of Radford's place in the New Zealand Olympic team is expected later today.
Radford's selection brings the New Zealand Olympic Team to Rio to 112.