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Tuesday, July 25, 2000
Badminton Canada says COA intruded

 OTTAWA (CSN) -- Badminton Canada says the Canadian Olympic Association intruded on an area of agreement between an athlete and its national sport federation when it rejected two Badminton Canada nominations to the Olympic team.

 The dispute was resolved two weeks ago by an arbitrator after Badminton Canada had appealed to the COA's executive committee. The arbitrator decided the COA was right in refusing Denyse Julien of Rouyn-Noranda Que., and Charmaine Reid of Fort Erie, Ont., spots on the 2000 team.

 Julien and Reid had met the COA's standard in women's doubles and the International Badminton Federation standards in women's singles. The arbitrator's ruling was that the "meaning and intent" of the selection agreement was that a player must meet the COA and international standards in the same event.

 "There is nowhere in the COA/Badminton Canada agreement that states these standards must be met in the same event," said Ian Moss, executive director of Badminton Canada. "These agreements have been in place for well over a year and the COA was informed of the differences between the two standards throughout that period."

 However the COA executive committee said the decision to accept Julien and Reid would depend on whether Kara Solmundson of Winnipeg would disregard her singles nomination. Solmundson qualified for the team in mixed doubles with partner Mike Beres of Mount Pleasant, Ont. She also met the international standard and was Canada's internationally top-ranked player in women's singles. She could still play singles at the Olympics since international regulations allows a qualified player to compete in any event at the Games even though she didn't meet the COA criteria in singles.

 Solmundson refused to give up her singles spot on the basis that if her partner was injured she would not be able to compete at the Games. In the event of an injury to her partner before the Games, Solmundson would seek a spot on the team on compassionate grounds because she didn't meet both standards in singles. However the COA policy for pairs states that if one athlete is injured the other pair doesn't go to the Games.

 "The COA wouldn't allow Badminton Canada to makes its decision," said Badminton Canada president Rolf Paterson. "We didn't think Kara had a material right in that case to deny the right of two other players to get into the Games. The COA reached into areas which are national sport federation issues."

 Badminton Canada's six Olympic team athletes are Milaine Cloutier of Granby, Que., and Robbyn Hermitage of Kitchener, Ont., in women's doubles; Brent Olynyk of North Vancouver and Bryan Moody of Pointe-Claire, Que., in men's doubles and Beres and Solmundson in mixed doubles.
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