Head coach Eric Hollingsworth sent packing from Glasgow

CONTROVERSIAL head coach Eric Hollingsworth will be sent home from the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow following his public statement criticising team captain Sally Pearson.

Chef de Mission Steve Moneghetti confirmed the decision at a press conference, saying the Englishman had acted without Athletics Australia's authority and in contravention of specific instructions from chief executive Dallas O'Brien.

"(This) led us to revoke his accreditation and we have made arrangements for Eric to travel back to Australia at an appropriate time," he said.

"He's going home today (yesterday) if we can organise flights ... Eric is happy with that so we've agreed that he will leave Glasgow as soon as it is possible."

Olympic champion Pearson has not commented on the feud that spilled into the public arena on the eve of her 100m hurdles event with the final scheduled for 7.10am tomorrow.

Hollingsworth had accused her of setting a poor example by leaving the team's training camp in northern England to contest a lead-up race in London on the weekend before the Games started.

In a statement from the head coach, released through a private media company, Hollingsworth said: "Sally was coming all along until the last minute when she opted to take a race in London. What's lost here is she's the team captain and there's a reasonable expectation she'd be in he camp ahead of something as major as the Commonwealth Games."

AA president David Grace had told reporters the timing of the comments was deplorable.

Grace also said Pearson did not want to be involved in any discussions about the issue whatsoever to ensure she could fully focus on her event.

The gold medallist from the London Olympics has struggled to regain her best form in recent months, and finished third in the 100m hurdles in London two weeks ago. The winner was British champion Tiffany Porter who is expected to provide Pearson with stiff opposition tomorrow morning.

Australian officials also had to deal with the arrest of weightlifter Francois Etoundi who was charged with assault after an altercation in the athletes' village following his bronze medal success in the 77kg class. The Cameroon-born Etoundi was due to face the Glasgow Sheriff Court yesterday.

Moneghetti announced Etoundi had had his Commonwealth Games accreditation revoked.

Meanwhile, the brother of Aussie boxer Jordan Samardali was jailed and charged after an incident at the boxing competition.

After Samardali was beaten in the quarter-finals of the light heavyweight division, his brother Laith reacted angrily. The 25-year-old former boxer was later arrested and charged with behaving in a threatening and abusive manner, as well as aggravated assault.

He pleaded guilty to both charges and was due to be sentenced yesterday.


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