Third Edition News for August 8, 1998

The Australian Track Squad Crisis

Laurie Cousins, a regular reporter from has sent me the transcript from Saturday's the Australian Broadcasting Commission's "Grandstand" program. This interview is with Brian Hill and is conducted by ABC sport's reporter Karen Tighe.

Karen Tighe: Brian Hill, father of Australia's former world sprint champion Darryn Hill, is concerned about tensions within the Australian track squad .

Brian Hill: Personally, I've had a lot of doubts over the years about the way that Charlie handles the riders.

Karen Tighe: In what way ?

Brian Hill: There just doesn't seem to be much communication between Charlie and the riders. It's do as I say or else. They won't listen to any other persons point of view on training methods or things like that so I that's why at the moment Darryn is in America, training in a different state, to what the Australian team is.

Karen Tighe: Has Darryn related to you his concerns or problems that he's finding with Charlie Walsh at the moment ?

Brian Hill: No. Darryn hasn't said anything that I recall about Charlie. He was just somewhat concerned about the way the training was going and he thought he could do it better in a different area.

Karen Tighe: So, has Darryn left the national program, or is he still with the Australian squad but just electing to train separately.

Brian Hill: Yes. I think it's on Monday that Darryn will be rejoining the Australian squad in Buttgen in Germany. He just took some time off to more or less convince them that his training methods were better than theirs.

Karen Tighe: Brian have you heard anything about alleged use of illegal drugs within Australian cycling ?

Brian Hill: Well, looking at the Tour de France there is obviously a problem with drugs in cycling, but Charlie to my mind has always pointed out that he did have a very clean team. Though I did hear of some problems with something the riders were given, as I say this is only what I've heard, I wasn't there, I didn't see it, but I did hear that they were given something containing IDF1 which I believe is illegal.

Karen Tighe: Is there a feeling Brian from what you're hearing that the riders are scared of Charlie Walsh ?

Brian Hill: For years the riders have been scared of Charlie Walsh ! You've only got to look at Stephen Pate and Kathy Watt to see what sort of trouble you can get into if you go up against Charlie.

Karen Tighe: What about Lucy Tyler-Sharman because it seems that she in particular has been having big problems with Charlie Walsh ?

Brian Hill: Well, I saw a little bit of that. I was in Columbia - when Darryn won the world championships - and it appeared to me that Lucy Tyler-Sharman came on the scene just at the right time to give Kathy Watt a hard time. So, Charlie was quite happy to look after her best interests under those circumstances, but the time the circumstances changed and Kathy fell off a little bit and he didn't need Lucy. If there are problems it would be something like that I'd imagine.

Karen Tighe: Have you heard anything about any alleged sexual harrasment within the Australian team ?

Brian Hill: Yes. But I'm afraid I can't mention it.

Karen Tighe: Brian, from the feelings that you're getting, from what you're hearing, what do you think may happen. Of course the world track championships are not far away, we have the Commonwealth Games, two years away the Olympics at home. What are your feelings about the future for Charlie Walsh ?

Brian Hill: I really don't know enough about cycling to state the future for Charlie Walsh. But, I'm a little bit worried about the riders that have gone against him because they're going to be a long, long way from home in Bordeaux in France and then in Kuala Lumpur. I wouldn't like him to make it difficult for the riders that don't quite see eye-to-eye with him.

Karen Tighe: Brian Hill the father of the champion Australian sprinter Darryn Hill.

Official Press Release from Cycling Australia

As you would expect, Cycling Australia is denying anything is wrong in Australian Track Cycling. The only problems in Australian cycling according CA was the road program. Anyway, in the interests of maintaining balance on my pages, here is the official press release from the President of Cycling Australia, Ray Godkin, released earlier today in Sydney. Whether you believe a word of it is another question.


Allegations have been circulated recently by some members of the National Track Cycling Squad, raising concerns of discrimination by the coach, Charlie Walsh, and sexual harassment by another team official.

In response, a conference was convened involving Cycling Australia President, Ray Godkin and relevant authorites from the Australian Sports Commission. As a result of this meeting it was agreed to send a senior member of the ASC to the Team's base at Colorado in order to conduct a formal inquiry.

Following investigations it was found that the allegations were not substantiated. No further action was deemed to be required and no changes to the team or program were recommended. An agreement was reached whereby some team members were permitted to train and compete separate from the squad in Trexlertown, USA and to participate in the Goodwill Games in New York. This was considered to be in the best interests for the preparation of the cyclists concerned.

On August 11 the Team will reassemble in Buttgen, Germany in preparation for the World Championships in France at the end of this month. The team will be under the control and direction of Team Management and head track coach, Charlie Walsh.

There has been inference in circulated reports relative to the use of illegal drugs. Nothing could be further from the truth. The substance in question was Colostrum, a high protein substance used for the purpose of boosting the immune system. It is a legal substance and riders had a choice as to their requirement to take the product.

Following the World Championships and Commonwealth Games the normal review of Cycling's programs will take place in line with all OAP sports.

In respect of the position of head coach, Cycling Australia reaffirms its position of complete confidence in Charlie Walsh and his program.