Van Commenee sweats on Radcliffe and Idowu fitness… and admits he nearly ditched triple jumper
23:44 GMT, 25 July 2012
UK Athletics head coach Charles van
Commenee admitted on Wednesday he considered
leaving Phillips Idowu out of Great Britain's
Van Commenee has not spoken with the
injury-hit triple jumper for more than a year
and confessed he has pondered drastic action
during the stand-off.
He said: 'It is undermining
the proper governance of the sport. I don't see it as undermining me but I can see other people may see it that way.
Fit in time Phillips Idowu (centre) opted to stay in London to receive treatment on a hip injury rather than travel to Monte Gordo
'I have only one sanction – not to enter
him on the team.
'I thought about it because this situation is not good
for athletics but I have decided not to play that card because of him.
'I can see the point of having that sanction in place. The question was,
“Do I sacrifice a potential gold medal for a transparent policy that
makes the sport run better in the future”.
'I decided to have sympathy
with the athlete and give him a chance to fulfil his dream.'
surrounds the extent of Idowu's injury, which affects him from his knee
to his hip.
Medal hope: Idowu – if fit- stands a real chance of winning gold for Team GB in triple jump
Hit or miss: Idowu faces a races against time to be fit in time for the Games
The British Olympic Association publicly requested to see
Idowu's medical records on Tuesday, an act which drew anger from the
33-year-old, who has not competed since June and has skipped a Team GB
training camp in Portugal.
Van Commenee also revealed at Team GB's
holding camp in Monte Gordo that he is still uncertain about the fitness
of Paula Radcliffe, the marathon world record-holder who has been
struggling with injuries of her own.
'Phillips is obviously a big
concern but Paula is always a concern,' said the chief coach.
Paula. Will she be fit Can we flip a coin'
Van Commenee also admitted that even Idowu's personal coach, Aston Moore, who is employed
by UK Athletics, does not know the state of his recovery.
doesn't know where he is in his recovery,' he said. 'Not in the last
Sanctions: UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee, pictured with Dwayne Chambers (right), has said he will not exclude Idowu from the Games
'It is remarkable. He (Aston) is here. He has a job to do here.
Phillips has gone his own route since Eugene (where he was injured on
'Phillips decided not to join this camp. It is not a mutual
decision with his coach.
'So I don't know where he is with the injury. I
would have preferred him to be here.
would have preferred it, like I would every athlete, and every other
athlete is here. But at the same time if he believes that this is the
best way to fulfil his dream I will accept that.'
Will he be there Idowu has featured in numerous advertising campaigns ahead of the Games
Van Commenee, who
appeared to be enjoying a more cordial relationship with Dwain Chambers,
added: 'I have a mix of frustration and sympathy (for Idowu);
frustration because he is not here which would be the best possible
place, but sympathy because he is not in the best possible position
Van Commenee's claim came on the day when the BOA showed their
muscle by de-selecting one of the team's athletes, marathon runner Dave
Webb was picked on the basis of his performance at last year's
World Championships but has failed to prove his fitness.
Tiffany Porter and Greg Rutherford, who were struggling with injuries at
the time of the Diamond League meet at Crystal Palace this month, are
now fully fit.
But there are new concerns over javelin thrower Goldie
Sayers and hurdler Andy Pozzi, who are having treatment in Portugal.
50/50: Paula Radcliffe could finally win a gold medal at the Olympic Games in London