ATHLETICS Australia have defended their decision to reject Aberglasslyn runner Scott Westcott’s request for special dispensation from the national team training camp.
On Saturday AA director of high performance Simon Nathan answered questions on an athletics website about marathon runner Westcott’s decision to pull out of the world championship in Moscow.
Westcott withdrew from the August 17 race after his request to join the Australian team training camp in England was rejected.
The father of three had hoped to miss part of the training camp to limit the time away from his young family.
AA’s decision became more debatable when it was revealed that 2010 Commonwealth Games gold-medal winning walker Jared Tallent had been granted special dispensation to miss the training camp.
When asked about the issue, Nathan said: “The only reason we would consider a variation from the normal requirements to attend the full camp would be if an athlete could demonstrate that they had a high altitude training plan, which is sound and has proven to be effective for them in the past”.
“We’ve had a number of applications to attend the camp for either a shortened period or to skip it altogether to date, but the only athlete to put forward a case which we were comfortable with is Jared Tallent.
“Given his proven past success at multiple international championships, we believe that this is a sound decision.”
Following Nathan’s comments, a post on the “Let Scott Westcott Run” Facebook page said Westcott had asked supporters to “tone down” their support as he believed AA would not change their decision.
The Facebook page, which was set up by Westcott supporters, had 2833 likes as of last night and has been campaigning for the runner to be granted special dispensation to compete in Moscow.