Australia’s sprint coach has been dropped from the team and will now have to leave the country with his four-month old son.
Ross Edgar, a Scottish former Olympian, joined the Australian track programme three years ago, but he will not be given the opportunity to guide athletes through the Tokyo Olympics.
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Last week, Cycling Australia performance director Simon Jones announced a restructuring of the organisation in order to “increase the chance of success in 2021”, with a number of staff losing their jobs in the process.
The track squad have been looking to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which have now been postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus crisis.
Edgar says his redundancy, effective immediately, now leaves him with just two months to leave Australia with his partner and his fourth-month-old son.
In a statement released on social media Edgar, who won the silver medal in the 2008 Olympic Keirin , said: “I had always resolved to finish what I started despite any day-to-day trials and tribulations and we’d planned on returning to Europe post [Olympic] Games but now, with unfinished business and a heavy heart, our return has been brutally brought forward.”
Edgar also has concerns about the restructuring of Cycling Australia, which will involve recruiting a new director of coaching and director of performance pathways.
The changes had been planned for after the Olympics, but they have been brought forward ahead of the postponed Olympics next year.
Edgar believes the restructure will “impact heavily” on resources available and will see a reduction in support for coaches.
Announcing the new structure. performance director Simon Jones said: “We believe these changes increase our chance of success in 2021 with more focussed and strategically aligned teams, and at the same time we will look closely at our pathway strategies over the coming months to ensure we have a surplus of talent creating upward pressure in the pathway to meet Cycling’s 2024 and 2028 medal potential.”
Edgar added: “This shows that there was little to no consideration for athletes themselves with Simon’s programme strategy purely based on Olympic success. One could say this is a very unproven move considering the sprint program is a successful one and the short period of time to the games.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the sprint athletes past and present.
“It hurts knowing I won’t get to finish off the campaign with you guys, but I know you’ll do the business.”