The New Zealand Olympic Committee has concluded its review of the entry confirmation error at London 2012 which saw Valerie Adams and Lucy Van Dalen’s names left off their respective competition start-lists.
The review was conducted in consultation with Adams and her management, High Performance Sport New Zealand, Athletics New Zealand and Sport New Zealand. The United States, British, Australian, Danish, Swiss and Canadian Olympic Committees were also consulted. The Minister of Sport was briefed throughout the process.
It was confirmed that a highly uncharacteristic human error caused the names to be left off the start list and provided the athletes involved with unnecessary stress ahead of competition.
In benchmarking New Zealand’s entry confirmation processes against those of the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, Switzerland and Denmark, it was discovered that each, like New Zealand, follows a process where a single person is responsible for submitting the final entry confirmation. In spite of this, the New Zealand Olympic Committee will ensure all future entry confirmations are checked by a second designated official. Additional resources will be provided to support team managers in this process as well as in all dealings with the International Federations and IOC during the Olympic Games.
The New Zealand Olympic Committee has also been in contact with the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) and has requested changes to the confirmation of entry process. The New Zealand Olympic Committee believes the current process could be improved and the risk of errors reduced.
The IAAF has advised the New Zealand Olympic Committee it will review its processes accordingly.
Mike Stanley, President of the New Zealand Olympic Committee, says the review process was important. “While the cause of the error was both highly uncharacteristic and simple, it was important to look for any improvements that could prevent this happening in the future,” he said. “We apologise to both Lucy and Valerie for the unnecessary stress caused.
“We want our systems to be watertight and will make changes to help achieve this.”
The findings of the New Zealand Olympic Committee’s entry confirmation process review will now be included as part of the wider HPSNZ and Athletics New Zealand debrief of the London 2012 campaign currently underway.