Mottram considering Britain switch - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mottram considering Britain switch

By Sharon Mathieson 21/05/2004 06:21:30 AM Comments (0)

Infighting within athletics ranks could cost Australia a prized scalp, with champion distance runner Craig Mottram considering switching allegiances to Britain.

UK Athletics has already met with Mottram's coach Nic Bideau to detail its plans for the 23-year-old Victorian and Bideau has no qualms in telling his charge the British offer beats Australia.

The only good news for Australia is Mottram has committed to wearing the green and gold at the Athens Olympics - after that it's up in the air.

"I have considered it and I will consider it again after Athens," Mottram said.

"Up until Athens all I'm going to do is concentrate on performing the best that I can for Australia."

Mottram's grievances lie with Athletics Australia (AA), the political bickering and its failure to support athletes by luring world class competitors Down Under for the domestic season.

The Geelong runner found himself half a lap ahead of competitors at most A Series events over summer and struggled when he came across stronger competition in Europe.

The crisis within athletics came to a head during the Olympic selection trials in February when distance running coach Said Aouita threatened to quit the country because he was sick of the squabbles with Victorian coaches and athletes and accused Australia's head coach, Keith Connor, of being a control freak.

Mottram's girlfriend, sprinter Lauren Hewitt, followed with an outburst of her own when she called for AA chief executive Simon Allatson to resign and Bideau demanded the entire AA board be sacked.

Federal Sports Minister Rod Kemp intervened to announce a review of AA following revelations it had debts of $1.3 million.

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