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AOC President Coates takes aim at rivals in AGM address

AOC President Coates takes aim at rivals in AGM address
April 28, 2018

Australian Olympic Committee President John Coates has taken aim at "barbarians" and "arsonists" while defending himself in a combatative address at the organisation's annual meeting.

Speaking today in Sydney, Coates's arsonist comment appeared to be aimed at those who opposed him in last year's presidential election and raised allegations of a culture of bullying within the AOC.

His comment about "barbarians at the gate" referred to outside interests being denied access to Australian Olympic Foundation (AOF) funds after its trust deed was amended earlier this month.

Coates (pictured) was clearly in an unforgiving mood after the bitter lead-up to the 2017 election, in which he defeated a challenge by hockey gold medallist Danielle Roche.

On Saturday, he took aim at those who made the bullying allegations.

As reported by AAP, in his address Coates stated "the facts here, as determined by the independent committee, suggest that a specific human resources issue was inflamed into an alleged macro-cultural problem.

"And that this was done by those seeking to present themselves as the solution. That the AOC was besmirched by exaggerated claims and pejorative hyperbole, expressed for political advantage.

"And that those who claimed a motivation to protect the AOC's reputation more closely resembled both arsonist and firefighter."

Asked after the meeting who he was referring to, Coates said the people who convened the special meeting of the AOC executive less than two weeks before the vote.

Coates was also on the front foot about protecting the AOF, which provided money to cover the cost and expenses of the AOC.

The Foundation's trust deed was amended this month, with the life members of the AOC effectively controlling the distribution of funds and shutting other organisations.

Coates added "it means the Australian Olympic Foundation's capital and ongoing distributions is secure.

"To those with designs on raiding the foundation - you are well served to look elsewhere.

"Put simply, our guardians on the wall cannot be defeated by any barbarians at the gate."

The Australian Sports Commission was clearly one organisation Coates had in mind.

After the AGM he advised "Blind Freddie would have realised that there was interest in our money at a time when additional funding wasn't being made available by the federal government to the Australian Sports Commission.

"You could get to a situation where someone through external influence could take voting control of the AOC but it's a big hurdle now that they would have to have more than 75%, and then we've got the guardians."

Regarding a potential bid by Brisbane to stage the 2032 Olympics, Coates stressed transport links were the biggest issue.

He added "it won't work unless they fix the transport and they have to fix the transport anyway.

"But it's a lot of money. They've got to get the Federal Government and (Queensland) Government behind them so we're encouraged by the attitude they are taking."

23rd April 2018 - QUEENSLAND GOVERNMENT LOOKS TO FUTURE SPORTING EVENTS FOR COMMONWEALTH GAMES VENUES

15th September 2017 - ‘BULLY’ MIKE TANCRED TO LEAVE AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE 

1st September 2017 - AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE MEDIA DIRECTOR CLEARED OF BULLYING COMPLAINTS 

25th August 2017 - NO CHANGE AT AOC WHILE JOHN COATES REMAINS IN POST 

24th August 2017 - AOC PROMISES TO OVERHAUL INTERNAL CULTURE AFTER DAMNING REVIEW

5th July 2017 - AOC’S MIKE TANCRED GIVEN $125,000 BONUS DESPITE BULLYING ALLEGATIONS

21st May 2017 - KIM BRENNAN APPOINTED AUSTRALIA’S CHEF DE MISSION FOR 2018 SUMMER YOUTH OLYMPICS

6th May 2017 - JOHN COATES WINS VOTE TO RETAIN AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE PRESIDENCY

27th April 2017 - AOC’S MIKE TANCRED STEPS DOWN FOLLOWING BULLYING ALLEGATIONS

24th April 2017 - AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE CALLS CRISIS MEETING AFTER THREAT ALLEGATIONS

13th April 2017 - AOC’S ANNUAL REPORT DETAILS $40,000 PAY RISE FOR JOHN COATES

28th March 2017 - FORMER CHIEF EXECUTIVE IN REPORTED DISPUTE WITH AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE 

16th March 2017 - MATT CARROLL NAMED NEW AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE CHIEF EXECUTIVE

14th February 2017 - AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE BLOCKS AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF SPORT FROM TOKYO 2020 PLANNING

12th February 2017 - TOP SPORT ADMINISTRATORS IN PUBLIC DISPUTE AT MELBOURNE ATHLETICS EVENT 


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