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SBD Global/June 15, 2012/Olympics

Accused Australian Weightlifter Vows To Fight For A Place On Olympic Squad

Australian weightlifter Daniel Koum has "vowed to fight for a place on the Olympic team" despite allegations he demanded cash to perform in a crucial selection trial in Samoa last week, according to Georgina Robinson of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Koum will compete in a second trial in Brisbane Saturday after his state federation said that it "would wait to hear the facts of the alleged incident before taking action." The decision sets up "a potentially uncomfortable showdown" between Koum and Australian Weightlifting Federation officials accusing him of asking for $5,000 for his performance in the Oceania Championships (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 6/15). THE AUSTRALIAN's Wayne Smith reported that actions of AWF officials "are likely to be examined as closely as those" of Koum by the Australian Olympic Committee. AWF CEO Michael Keelan said that the allegations have "triggered a top-line investigation" by the AOC selection committee. If the AOC finds the allegations to be true, there is "little doubt Koum would forfeit any chance he has of competing in London." The investigation, however, could "turn into a double-edged sword, one that could end up cutting some weightlifting officials from the Olympic team" should the selection committee determine the matter was handled inappropriately (THE AUSTRALIAN, 6/15).
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