Athletics Australia today advised the Australian Commonwealth Games Association (ACGA) of the withdrawal of discus thrower Dani Samuels from the 2010 Australian Commonwealth Games team.
The ACGA accepts and respects Samuels’ decision to withdraw.
“This is the hardest decision of my life and not one I took lightly,” Samuels said.
“I love competing for Australia, winning a Commonwealth Games is important to me and something I’ve dreamed of. My whole year’s training has been planned for this event but yesterday I couldn’t even bring myself to train with stress and anxiety regarding the issues surrounding the Games.”
Samuels’ manager Hayden Knowles informed Athletics Australia of the decision late this afternoon, citing security and health fears which had caused the 22-year-old world champion many sleepless nights.
“Dani has today made the difficult decision to not compete at the Commonwealth Games,” Knowles said.
“Her reason, after great deliberation, is due to security and other potential problems to her health and well-being in New Delhi. This was of such great concern to Dani that it was affecting her training, her health and her desire to participate.”
Speaking from Delhi where a small team of Australian officials are preparing the Australian team headquarters in the athletes village, ACGA Chief Executive Officer Perry Crosswhite said: “We have held the position all along that it is the individual athlete’s prerogative as to whether or not they wish to travel to Delhi and participate in the 2010 Commonwealth Games.”
Crosswhite reiterated that the ACGA is in constant contact with Australian Government officials and the advice is that an acceptable level of security is being provided for our 2010 Commonwealth Games Team, however all team members must determine their own personal position on whether to participate.
“It is a very personal decision and one which athletes must make in consultation with their family and individual support teams, and we accept and respect Dani’s decision,” Crosswhite said.
Athletics Australia CEO Dallas O’Brien said: “We completely respect Dani’s decision. We appreciate it was an extremely difficult choice to make given the circumstances.”
Athletics Australia – News