Inside Lines: IAAF 'snub' to Ohuruogu is a dampener on her big parade
Sunday 19 October 2008
Christine Ohuruogu was saying amid the jubilation of the great cavalcade of Olympic heroes in London last Thursday that she hoped the controversies of those three missed drugs tests and her subsequent ban are "all behind me now".
Certainly it would seem so in the eyes of the applauding public who lined the streets, but does some doubt linger within the IAAF? Curiously, athletics' world governing body have omitted the 24-year-old world and Olympic 400 metres champion (pictured right) from their top 10 listed females from whom the global athlete of the year will be chosen. A snub? Some in the sport seem to think so, while others suggest her achievements may not have quite merited inclusion in a list which also has another notable omission in Brazil's long jump gold medallist Maurren Maggi, who has a positive drugs test on her CV. No doubt Ohuruogu will shrug it off, but it does seem untimely that a little rain should fall on her parade.
Becks and Barnes join bid
The Football Association yesterday added a much-needed professional flavour to England's 2018 World Cup bid by recruiting David Beckham and John Barnes as initial vice-presidents, supporting a board which has been criticised for being politically top-heavy. The duo will act as "ambassadors", a role also likely to be filled by the former prime minister Tony Blair. Prince William, once mooted as a possible bid leader, has formally given the campaign his "wholehearted support".
Lamb not on BOA menu
Queues may be forming outside the Job Centres but there are still plenty of sits vac in sport's corridors of power, with the chair still to be filled at Sport England and chief exec's desks awaiting occupancy at the British Olympic Association, the FA, the 2018 World Cup HQ, Arsenal FC and now the Irish FA following the exit last week of Howard Wells, who is taking legal action after his dismissal. Tim Lamb, the former chief executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board, was surprised to read that he is supposedly in the frame for the BOA job. He has assured members of the CCPR, where he occupies a similar post, that this is not the case, telling them: "If I am on the shortlist it's the first I've heardof it."
Black eye for the council
The Beijing boxing bronze- medal winner Tony Jeffries, who says he is unlikely to turn pro, was among the happy celebrants in the London parade. But he made sure his parsimonious local council in Sunderland didn't jump on the Olympic bandwagon – he is the city's first Olympic medallist – by snubbing a reception they planned for him, as they refused any financial support before the Games. "The council did nothing for Tony," says dad Phil.
Diver switches channels
While Tom Daley, the juvenile lead in their aquatic double act, is spending his half-term holiday diving with the dolphins at Florida's Sea World, his much-maligned partner, Blake Aldridge (pictured below), has also been plunging in at the deep end. As we revealed, they are staying together despite their Beijing bust-up, and last week Aldridge swam 70 lengths of the Linden Lodge School pool in Wimbledon to launch The Aspire Channel Swim. Some 120 kids from the school, who are disabled or visually impaired, will swim the 22-mile distance of the Channel in the pool to raise money to buy wheelchairs for those with spinal-cord injuries.
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