Athletics: Norman gets go-ahead to act as agent: Sacked promoter's accreditation heralds renewed controversy

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The Independent Online
ANDY NORMAN was yesterday granted the official right to act as an agent for leading British athletes competing abroad.

Norman, sacked as the British Athletic Federation's promotions director last month for misconduct, applied on Monday to become an accredited agent.

He had already negotiated on behalf of leading athletes, including John Regis and Tony Jarrett, to appear in the Bratislava meeting on 1 June. The BAF said he had to apply for official permission first; now he has it.

Many in the sport will see this as the thin end of the wedge for Norman, who was sacked for misconduct after the Federation had considered evidence that he had spread false rumours about the athletics coach and writer Cliff Temple, who committed suicide in January.

'I think the Federation have no moral conscience whatsoever,' John Bicourt, a leading agent and executive in the international agents' federation, said. 'It makes a nonsense of the decision to sack him. This is someone who has brought the sport into disrepute. In effect, giving him official recognition exonerates him of everything he's done.'

Tony Ward, the BAF spokesman, said: 'We had no grounds for not accepting Andy Norman's application. It is not the Federation's intention to hound Andy out of existence. The disciplinary proceedings had nothing to do with his handling of athletes or any financial indiscretions.'