Murray McCully still pushing 'Val-Gate' review
Track & Field
Sports Minister Murray McCully will still investigate the New Zealand Olympic Committee bungling that plagued Val Adams' build-up to the Olympic shot put final.
Despite the country enjoying the euphoria of Adams being promoted to gold medal status following arch rival's Nadzeya Ostapchuk's failed drugs test, McCully said nothing had changed about the need to investigate the administrative error that led to the Kiwi champion being initially left off the competition starting list.
"Some things occurred that should never have happened," McCully said yesterday.
"Valerie Adams is 27 years of age, she's capable of being a gold medallist at at least a couple more Olympics for New Zealand. I want to encourage her to do that. The best way we can achieve that is to ensure that all of the support systems are there and working the way they should on the day."
"We'll go through a proper process to make sure that happens. It's the business of the New Zealand Olympic Committee, but they're going to work with us because we're a significant stake-holder. We, on behalf of tax-payers, fund a lot of high performance sport. I think New Zealanders would want to see us eliminate mistakes at that high end of sport and so we'll work to achieve that."
Adams does not return to New Zealand until October but McCully said he would be meeting her manager Nick Cowan as soon as possible.
McCully has a high opinion of Adams and has intervened on official matters on her behalf in the past. When Adams expressed a desire several years ago to set up her own high performance programme and that was resisted by officials, the Sports Minister got involved and made it happen. Her performances since then indicate the Minister got it right.
McCully also called into "Kiwi House", the NZOC's home base in London, the day after the shot put final to console a shattered Adams who had not only had to contend with the administrative gaffes and the impact they had on her preparation and performance, but also a drug-fuelled Ostapchuk.
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