Australian Runner John Steffensen Banned after Racial Allegations Dismissed
January 31, 2013 8:50 PM EST
Controversial 400 metre runner John Steffensen has been given a six-month suspension by Athletics Australia (AA) for bringing the sport into disrepute after an independent investigation dismissed his claims of racial vilification.
The suspension, Steffensen's second in two years, will run until August 1 meaning the 30-year-old will miss the chance to qualify for the August 10-18 World Championships in Moscow.
The 2006 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, born in Perth to South African parents, made the accusation prior to the London 2012 Olympics when Steve Solomon earned selection ahead of him despite Steffensen beating his teenage opponent in the trials.
Steffensen, who competed along with Solomon in the 4x400 metre relay in London, had also complained that AA chief executive Dallas O'Brien had lied to him about the reasons for selecting the younger runner.
AA said that an 'exhaustive independent investigation' had found no evidence of Steffensen's claims and opted for the punishment after an hour-long video link discussion with the athlete on Wednesday.
"The board took into account Steffensen's statements and also his previous three-month suspension in 2010 before unanimously determining that a six-month suspension was appropriate, considering the seriousness of the breaches," AA said in a statement.
Steffensen was banned in 2010 for abusing AA officials at a national championships and for comments he made when announcing he would not defend his Commonwealth Games title in New Delhi later that year.
Join the Conversation
- Boxing Analyst John Scully Says Floyd Mayweather Is Slipping But Manny Pacquiao Won’t Win In Super Fight In 2015
- Freddie Roach Provoking ‘Washed-Up’ Floyd Mayweather Jr., Says Manny Pacquiao Will KO Undefeated American
- Sharapova, Halep, Ivanovic, Wozniacki, Kvitova, Radwanska, Kerber Make Early Commitment To Stuttgart Open
- 2014 Dancing With The Stars Australia: Former AFL Star David Rodan Declared Winner
- ‘Floyd Rhymes With Avoid,’ Says Manny Pacquiao
- Black Friday And Cyber Monday Sale 2014: AT&T's Cricket Wireless Offers Discounts On Lumia 1320, Galaxy S5, S4 And HTC Desire 510
- Target’s ‘Surprise Doorbusters’ Black Friday 2014 Deals On TV Sets, Entertainment Centres, DVD Players And More
- ISIS Kidnaps Iraqi Defence Minister’s Family, Executes Female Parliament Candidates
- T-Mobile’s Black Friday 2014 Deals On Apple iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy Note 4/Edge, Nexus 6, HTC One M8, LG G3, iPad Air 2 And Mini 3
- '$2,000 For Sex'—Pleads Unlucky-in-Love Guy On OKCupid
- IKEA Black Friday 2014 Ad Includes Discounts On Home Furnishings, Appliances, Kitchen Designs, Beds, Sofas, Mattresses And Toys
- ISIS Drug Transit From Afghanistan To Europe Confirmed By Russia: Money Goes Into Terror Funding And In New Recruitments