GB captain Greene escapes any sanction for 'gayest' Twitter post


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The Independent Online

Dai Greene, the reigning world 400m hurdles champion and British Olympic athletics team captain, yesterday escaped censure after falling foul of the British Olympic Association's guidelines on the use of social media.

The 26-year-old Welshman, pictured, used the word "gayest" in a Twitter exchange with 400m runner Martyn Rooney, and although he deleted the message, which might be construed as offensive, the BOA launched an investigation. Sir Clive Woodward, the BOA's director of sport, had already issued a code of conduct instructing Britain's 542-strong home Olympics team to be "responsible" when using social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Greene, who has more than 22,500 Twitter followers, wrote "gayest tweet of the day" in reply to Rooney's tweet: "Oh no instagram [a program that uploads photos to the site] is down, how will I express my inner beauty by changing the filter on a sunset picture... Jokkesss I love #instagram".

It seems there was never any question of Greene, right, being dropped as captain, a spokesperson for UK Athletics, the governing body of track and field, saying: "The issue has been dealt with and is behind us now."

Still, there is more than a little irony in that Greene's appointment was announced last week by Charles van Commenee, the head coach of the British Olympic track and field squad, who is involved in an ongoing dispute with triple-jumper Phillips Idowu relating to Twitter.

Meanwhile, it is difficult to assess where Idowu's Olympic hopes stand. Mystery has surrounded the state of the triple-jumper's fitness since he slipped on the take-off board midway through a competition six weeks ago. Idowu insisted last week that he has not been injured, contradicting the words of Van Commenee. Idowu warmed up at the Aviva Grand Prix at Crystal Palace on Saturday but felt a tightness in his hip, leading to his oblique muscle, and decided not to take any risks. He does have time on his side. The qualifying round of the men's triple-jump at London 2012 is not until three weeks tomorrow.