London 2012 Olympics: Phillips Idowu ‘disappointed’ over BOA’s public request
Phillips Idowu’s agent says his athlete is disappointed with the British Olympic Association for making a request for his medical details public.
The triple jump gold medal hope has not travelled to Portugal for a pre-Games training camp with the rest of the Great Britain athletes. The 33-year-old has chosen to remain in London for treatment having recently been troubled by a hip injury.
The BOA have written to Idowu to seek clarification over the matter but, while the athlete’s representatives understand that, they believe the request should have remained confidential.
Agent Jonathan Marks said: “He’s incredibly disappointed and surprised as to why the BOA has chosen to do this. I can’t understand the benefit to the athlete. We are more than happy to send the BOA the medical records. Our office has even had a call from a member of the BOA medical team who has also expressed surprise at the organisation’s decision to go public with the request.
“Phillips is an athlete who’s proven that, if he gets to the start line, then he is one of those athletes who can win a medal.”
Idowu, who won silver in Beijing four years ago, is due to compete on 7 August.
Explaining the situation on the BOA’s behalf, spokesman Darryl Seibel said: “Our chief medical officer Dr Ian McCurdie wrote to Phillips and his agent yesterday asking that he provide to Dr McCurdie the relevant medical records relating to his injury and the treatment he is currently receiving. Those should be provided to our chief medical officer on a confidential basis.
“The basis for doing this is a clause in our team members’ agreement that says athletes are required to provide details of any injury or illness that may impact on their performance during the Games.”
Responding to the comments from Marks on Idowu’s behalf, Seibel told BBC Radio 5 Live: “The BOA has duty of care to every member of Team GB and the purpose of us reaching out in writing was to obtain information specific to the injury to help us understand the nature of the treatment he is undergoing and make sure we are in a position to provide all support necessary to get him back to full fitness as quickly as possible.
“This isn’t about any one athlete, it’s about every member of the delegation – they have the responsibility to share any information that may affect their ability to perform. I fully expect we will receive that information. This request came from our chief medical officer, who will keep it in confidence.”
Idowu has been at the centre of speculation about his fitness since his last competitive appearance on June 1 in Oregon, when he took three jumps before sitting out the rest of the competition.
He subsequently withdrew from meetings in Oslo and Paris and the Olympic trials in Birmingham, with UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee declining to clarify Idowu’s situation due to issues of “medical confidentiality”.
Idowu claimed before the London Grand Prix that he had never mentioned an injury and was happy to let the “rumour mill stir itself”, but pulled out of the competition at Crystal Palace with a hip problem he felt while warming up.
He wrote on Twitter on the time: “Hey guys, sorry to have to pull out of £ALGP, slight bit of muscle tightness. I will be fine in a day or 2. Hope the other jumpers put on a great show for you. See you 7th aug. thanks for your support.” His coach Aston Moore has said there is nothing sinister in his absence from the training camp. He said in a statement on Monday: “In training recently Phillips has had an ongoing injury problem and we have not been able to go at things 100 per cent.
“At the weekend Phillips told me he would continue to seek treatment from a private physio in London and would not travel to prepare in Portugal, although he may join us here later. He is an experienced athlete who I have worked with for more than four years and we will assess the situation again in the coming days.”
Jonathan Edwards, Britain’s triple jump gold medallist in Sydney in 2000, has, however, offered a different interpretation of the situation. Edwards told BBC Sport: “My take on it is that he doesn’t fancy going away for two weeks to a training camp. He’s chosen his own path to get to London 2012 and I hope that’s what it is, rather than a serious injury. It would be really, really sad if he wasn’t fit enough to compete.”
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