Two Canadians ruled ineligible for Olympics
By NEIL STEVENS -- The Canadian Press
Denyse Julien won't be going to the Olympics for a third time after all.
Julien, of Rouyn-Noranda, Que., and Charmaine Reid of St. Catharines, Ont., who were named last May by Badminton Canada for the Olympics, have been ruled off the team for the Summer Games by the Canadian Olympic Association.
Following a conference call involving Badminton Canada, the COA, the players and their lawyers Thursday, adjudicator Richard McLaren of London, Ont., ruled the two had not met COA standards. Six other players whose names were put forward have met the required standards and will be going to Australia in September.
Julien was ranked 29th and Reid 30th in the world by the IBF. The COA insisted on a top-24 ranking.
Julien, 39, who represented Canada at the 1992 and '96 Olympics, expressed disappointment but said she'll drop the matter.
"This has been going on for two months," she said Friday from Calgary, where most of Canada's top players train. "It's too much of a hassle.
"I don't want to do this anymore. I just want to take a step back and do a bit of golfing and relax."
"These are always difficult decisions," McLaren told the London Free Press. "The athletes had met the Badminton Canada standard but had not met the COA standard."
Ian Moss, executive director of Badminton Canada, said from Ottawa that the matter would be pursued no further.
"We've followed the process to have this reviewed and the ruling has gone against us so we have to abide by that," said Moss. "That's fine."
Badminton Canada spent $250,000 sending athletes around the world in the last year. Julien and Reid are competitive in singles and doubles, and the badminton body felt it could include them on the team list for the Olympics.
"If we'd been in another country, such as China, it wouldn't have gone to an arbitrator," Julien said. "The association would have told the player, 'We're nominating you in mixed doubles so we can have two more players in singles.' But we're in Canada and it doesn't work that way."
Canada's badminton contingent for Sydney now consists of: Robbyn Hermitage of Kitchener, Ont., and Milaine Cloutier of Granby, Que., in women's doubles; Mike Beres of Mount Pleasant, Ont., and Kara Solmundson of Winnipeg in mixed doubles; and Brent Olynyk of Vancouver and Bryan Moody of Pointe-Claire, Que., in men's doubles.