Griffin slams Athletics Ireland High Performance Director after funding cut

Colin Griffin
Double Olympian Colin Griffin has slammed the High Performance Director of Athletics Ireland after the Ballinamore walker was today (Thursday) ommitted from the 2013 International Carding Scheme grants, revealing that the cut in funding would severely compromise his future in international race-walking.

Double Olympian Colin Griffin has slammed the High Performance Director of Athletics Ireland after the Ballinamore walker was today (Thursday) ommitted from the 2013 International Carding Scheme grants, revealing that the cut in funding would severely compromise his future in international race-walking.

Griffin, one of only three Irish athletes to achieve the Athletics Ireland “A” stadard for this year’s World Championships in Moscow, issued a statement on his website, colingriffin.ie, on Thursday afternoon after the grants for 2013 were announced by Minister of State for Tourism & Sport Michael Ring.

In his statement, Colin slammed Athletics Ireland High Performance Director Kevin Ankrom for failing to meet with him to discuss the decision - “The manner in which my application was dealt with has been unfair. There has been no provision for or avenue open to me to appeal against that decision made solely by the AAI Performance Director, something unprecedented for any athlete, and despite requests for an independent ruling on my application which were largely ignored.

“In this manner my rights have been infringed and I have not been accorded due process.”

And Colin revealed the cut in funding has “severely compromised” his future in international athletics - “I am currently one of only 3 Irish athletes that have qualified for this summer’s World Championships where I have achieved AAI’s tougher (than IAAF) A Standard time for the 50km walk. Now my ability to prepare for these championships and continue my international athletics career at this level is severely compromised.”

Eslin’s Laura Reynolds did, however, receive a grant of €12,000 under the “International” classification with Cork Race-walker Robert Heffernan the only Irish athlete to receive podium funding of €12,000.

Colin’s fulls statement is as follows: “The 2013 International Carding Scheme grants were announced today by the Irish Sports Council. Despite achieving the criteria for International Class and submitting my application, Athletics Ireland did not forward my application to the Irish Sports Council.

“I achieved the criteria for International Class category of an IAAF ‘A’ Standard (4.02.00) in May 2012 at the World Race Walking Cup in Saransk where I finished 15th in a time of 3.52.54. This performance, at a time when I was not Carded, in a standard of competition identical to the World Championships or Olympic Games; was on merit the best performance of my career to date and demonstrated significant progress. Unfortunately at the Olympic Games 11 weeks later while on course for a similar top 16 performance and a significant PB, I was disqualified after receiving my third red card at 38km.

“The manner in which my application was dealt with has been unfair. There has been no provision for or avenue open to me to appeal against that decision made solely by the AAI Performance Director, something unprecedented for any athlete, and despite requests for an independent ruling on my application which were largely ignored. In this manner my rights have been infringed and I have not been accorded due process.

“I am currently one of only 3 Irish athletes that have qualified for this summer’s World Championships where I have achieved AAI’s tougher (than IAAF) A Standard time for the 50km walk. Now my ability to prepare for these championships and continue my international athletics career at this level is severely compromised.”

See next week’s Leitrim Observer for more news on the story.