Elliott goes on the defensive - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Elliott goes on the defensive

23/03/2004 10:14:33 PM Comments (0)

Athletics great Herb Elliott defended his appointment as head of a review of troubled sports body Athletics Australia.

Former champion Ron Clarke last week blasted the appointment of Elliott, an AA board member, to review the body, which is deeply in debt and under fire from many of its own athletes, coaches and officials.

Elliott said Clarke had made the comments before hearing the detail of how the review would run.

"The details about how that was to be conducted hadn't been made public so I can understand maybe why he made those comments," Elliott told ABC Television's The 7.30 Report.

"I want the best result for the athletes; otherwise I wouldn't be giving my time to this particular project."

Elliott said even if he had his own mysterious agenda to cook the review's result, the way the various steering committees were set up would make that impossible.

The recommendations would go to the committees from the coalface of athletics.

"If for a moment you think ... I can go in there and beat people around the head and get them to change their recommendations and their point of view, then you know that's not the real world," he said.

Elliott conceded the sport had trouble converting its success in the juniors into similar performances from senior athletes but said that would be covered by the review.

And he defended the financial running of the organisation despite a $1.3 million debt.

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