Sexy photos not to blame: coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sexy photos not to blame: coach

By Sharon Mathieson 05/08/2004 05:45:40 AM Comments (0)

It was unfair to question Tamsyn Lewis' commitment to the Olympics and wrong to blame her poor performances on a raunchy photo shoot, Australia's head athletics coach Keith Connor said.

He criticised the media and some within Athletics Australia ranks of using Lewis' sexy spread in Ralph magazine as an excuse to air their grievances about the 26-year-old rather than come out and say her performances were not up to scratch.

"If you want to come out and say, 'Tamsyn Lewis hasn't performed well over the years', I think Tamsyn can cop that, because you're talking about performances," Connor said.

"I'm not saying that myself.

"But if you're then using something that doesn't have any bearing on that up to now, I think it's a bit unfair. The facts need to be clarified first before we make statements like that."

Lewis, who will run in the 800m in Athens, said claims she sacrificed her fitness for the glamour of modelling were pathetic.

She said she had worked her butt off this year to overcome injury and illness and Athletics Australia should have spoken to her about its concerns rather than a newspaper.

"I so want to be a good athlete, I just do that stuff to fund myself so I can actually get over here," Lewis told Sydney radio 2Day FM from her training base in London.

"I did that photo shoot in January when I was injured on a day off.

"I think it's pretty bad that the people involved in Athletics Australia have felt the need to say things to the paper rather than calling me up and asking me how my injuries are going."

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