The Fitness Generation is now part of NovoFit - see www.ausleisure.com.au/suppliers/novofit/read more
Top sport administrators in public dispute at Melbourne athletics event
A dispute between two of Australia's most senior sports officials expanded into a public confrontation at the Nitro Athletics series event at Melbourne’s Lakeside Stadium last night.
Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) President, John Coates, and Australian Sports Commission (ASC) Chair, John Wylie, clashed in the VIP area at the event, with the ABC reporting that Coates refused to shake Wylie's hand, leading to an expletive-laden verbal clash - reportedly from both sides.
The ABC suggested that Coates has accused Wylie of working against him, trying to unseat him from his long-held position as Australia's highest ranking Olympic official, and of lying about it when confronted.
Coates has been a longtime critic of the Federal Government and ASC’s Winning Edge sport funding strategy, going as far as criticising the program and the performance of Australian athletes during last year’s Rio Olympics.
At the end of last year, Wylie wrote to Coates proposing a "reset" of the working relationship between their respective organisations, stating "there are many areas of mutual interest and benefit in our working together.
"There is a strong need for more funding for all levels of sport in this country, from Olympic and Paralympic high performance through to grassroots community participation."
However, Coates apparently concerned at a suggestion from Wylie that “the selection process for the Summer and Winter Games' Chef de Mission roles be handled as a partnership between us in an open process involving consideration of a range of candidates," responded with a 15-page letter, published on the AOC website.
Feeling that Wylie was overstepping his authority and trying to undermine the role of the AOC, Coates wrote: "Since the ASC was established I have... relied on (former Sports Minister) the Hon John Brown's assurances that the independence and autonomy of sport would continue as Government policy and will continue to do so unless the Acting Sports Minister, Senator the Hon Arthur Sinodinos, advises me that the Minister gave you a written direction under section 11(1) of the ASC Act 1989, to interfere in the right of the AOC to free elections, to seek a role in its most senior team appointments and to see access to the AOC's Funding for joining programs with the ASC.”
Coates, who is also a Vice-President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), emphasised that only the IOC can lay down rules to the AOC, adding “the requirement for the IOC to approve the AOC Constitution runs counter to the principle of national sovereignty which underpins the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and is an obstacle to the AOC incorporating as a company.”
The ABC reported “high profile sports administrators” as saying that Coates fears that Wylie is working with other heads of sports bodies to oust Coates from a position he has held for nearly 30 years.
Witnesses reported by the ABC stated to last night’s exchange as being “highly confrontational”' “uncomfortable” and “not pleasant”.
While Government interference with the AOC, an independent and autonomous organisation, could lead to the IOC suspending Australia from participating at the Olympic Games.
While the AOC receives no direct funding from the Australian Government, the ASC or the Australian Institute of Sport, it does acknowledges the critical assistance these bodies provide to both the AOC’s member national sporting federations on the Olympic program and to athletes directly for their preparation for the Olympic Games.
Images: John Wylie (left) and John Coates (right).
5th February 2017 - USAIN BOLT THE POWER BEHIND INAUGURAL NITRO ATHLETICS EVENT
13th December 2016 - KATE PALMER UNVEILED AS NEW AUSTRALIAN SPORTS COMMISSION CHIEF EXECUTIVE
14th October 2016 - MARK ARBIB ELECTED TO THE AOC EXECUTIVE
23rd September 2016 - AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE BACKS SOUTH EAST QUEENSLAND’S 2028 OLYMPICS BID
1st September 2016 - AUSTRALIAN SPORTS COMMISSION COMMITS TO WINNING EDGE PRINCIPLES AND FURTHER REFORMS
23rd August 2016 - RIO DISAPPOINTMENTS IGNITES BATTLE OVER OLYMPIC SPORTS GOVERNANCE
19th August 2016 - OLYMPIC PERFORMANCE DIPS AS AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC COMMITTEE SALARIES SOAR
Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?
The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.
However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.
Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.
Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.
Click here to subscribe.
The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.
Developed in Europe, this innovative system offers a safety management solution for swimming pools that checks individual swimmers via their wristband - monitoring their depth and time. Sensors…read more
Gladstone Health & Leisure (Gladstone MRM Pty Ltd Australia) is a leading supplier of leisure management and fitness software and is endorsed by leading health and fitness professionals and…read more
Track. Engage. Retain GreeneDesk is a suite of cloud based software solutions helping health clubs, leisure centres and swim schools to effectively track progression, improve customer engagement and…read more
Clubware’s online gym software is not your run of the mill management system. It has been carefully designed to incorporate all the elements that a fitness club would need. How did we do that?…read more
As of the 1st July 2018, Enta Australasia Pty Ltd/Best Union has been rebranded as VIVATICKET Pty Ltd. Click here to view the VIVATICKET Pty Ltd listing. 19th July 2018 - ENTA…read more
Regupol Australia Pty Ltd offers a comprehensive range of recycled rubber fitness and leisure flooring surfaces. Their range of products include everroll rubber flooring, Regupol elastic…read more
get listed with our suppliers directory
Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!