Adams entry error official 'gutted', 'stressed'

NATHAN BURDON
Last updated 13:05 08/08/2012
A 2009 file photo of New Zealand athletics official Raylene Bates.
Fairfax NZ
FEELING THE PAIN: A 2009 file photo of New Zealand athletics official Raylene Bates.
Valerie Adams with her coach Jean-Pierre Egger after the shot put at the London Olympics.
IAIN MCGREGOR/Fairfax NZ Zoom
Valerie Adams with her coach Jean-Pierre Egger after the shot put at the London Olympics.

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The husband of under-fire New Zealand athletics official Raylene Bates said the error which nearly cost Valerie Adams a shot at the Olympic gold medal should not undo a lifetime dedicated to the sport.

Craig Bates said his wife, Raylene, was distraught at the clerical error which led to five New Zealand track and field athletes - including defending shotput champion Adams, who went on to take silver - being left off the start list for their events at the London Games.

Bates failed to tick certain boxes on the athletes' starting confirmation forms and only last minute negotiating by the New Zealand Olympic Committee with the International Olympic Committee and athletics' world governing body the IAAF allowed the New Zealanders to take part.

''I don't want to make it any worse than it is, to be honest, she's going through enough stress,'' Craig Bates said today from the couple's New Zealand home in Dunedin.

''All I can say is she has given years of service to Athletics New Zealand, she's a meticulous administrator and she's feeling the pain.''

Bates spent much of the night talking with his wife about the issue.

''She's away from home for a three month stint from her family and she's giving it her all. She admits she made a blunder and they managed to fix it without too much of an ill wind. She's totally sick and stressed to the max. I spent half the night on the phone talking to her. She's gutted.''

Raylene Bates had pushed to have her name made public as soon as the issue came to light rather than hiding behind a review which could have dragged on for weeks, Craig Bates said.

''She's not just gutted for her, she's gutted for all the athletes that are there and she's getting great support from them. Her name is plastered all through the media today as being the person and she wanted that — she wanted it out in the open, she didn't want an inquiry and for it to come out two weeks later.

"She was the person who was ultimately responsible so she wanted to front up to it.''

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Dunedin-based Raylene Bates has coached athletics for two decades and is a life member of Athletics Taieri.

Her role as business manager for the New Zealand Academy of Sport South Island was disestablished earlier this year, but she will be head coach of the New Zealand athletics team at the Paralympic Games after the Olympics.

Adams was seen hugging Bates after the discus final and the pair have known each other for some time.

Adams' anger seems to lie more with officials above Bates not having the correct checks and balances in place to have discovered the gaffe earlier.

- The Southland Times

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