Judo: National trainer suspended

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The Independent Online
MARK EARLE, one of Britain's leading coaches, has been suspended as deputy national squad trainer after an incident, allegedly involving a punch, with the European bronze medallist Debbie Allan, writes Philip Nicksan.

The incident took place in Tallahassee, Florida, where the British squad are at a training camp. Earle, from Camberley Judo Club, has been responsible for training some of the most promising players establishing themselves on the international scene. He has supervised Allan's career since she was 13, leading her to two European junior bronze medals and, this year, a senior European bronze medal, despite being only 18.

Reports allege that there was a disagreement between Earle and Allan on the mat. This was followed, some hours later, by another exchange during which, it was alleged, a punch was thrown.

George Kerr, the chairman of the British Judo Association, said: 'The incident occurred last Friday. Mark Earle is under suspension as deputy national squad trainer while the BJA makes full enquiries.'

Earle said: 'I have been suspended from the BJA for an incident that happened in Tallahassee at the training camp. I have been advised by the chairman that an inquiry will be held when the players return and I am awaiting that decision.'

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