16th May 2012
Following the communication to athletes last Friday in relation to host nation nominations, there seems to be a great deal of discussion, rumours and postings on social media sites and I think it is important to clarify the process and timetable for announcements. All athletes who requested to be considered for a host nation place were notified, in confidence, last Friday as to whether the Olympic selectors had decided to nominate them to the BOA for selection for a host nation place.
There was no formal announcement by British Fencing as following these notifications, there is a five working day window for athletes to appeal against their non-nomination, on the basis that the process was not followed. The host nation places are all discretionary and therefore athletes are not able to appeal on the basis that they disagree with the selection of one athlete over another, only on the basis that the documented process was not followed.
We believe that we have gone to great lengths to ensure that the process, as laid in the selection document, was followed and are as confident as we can be, that it has. However, we have to allow the appeals process to be conducted with due process. Any appeals will be heard on Monday 21st May with a decision made by the Panel as to whether or not the process was followed. If they decide that the process was not followed then the Olympic Selection Panel will be asked to reconsider their nominations, taking into account the element of the process that was deemed not to have been followed. If they believe that the process was followed then the appeals will be rejected.
Once all the appeals and any new decision making has been taken into account, the names of the nominated athletes will be put to the BOA for selection. Once the selections have taken place by the BOA, with the timing dependent on the outcome of the appeals, they will announce the selected Fencers on Monday 28th May 2012 for the athletes selected as individuals. The selections of the individuals for Teams, in addition to any who may have been selected as an individual, will not be announced until 12 June 2012. Until the BOA has made the selections there is nothing to announce as they could decide not to confirm an athlete nomination.
At this stage it is difficult, without compromising the process that we are part way through, to go into the detailed discussions and performance rationale behind each nomination. However, I can confirm that every athlete nominated met the criteria as outlined in the selection document. I was supported in preparing the nominations by the Performance Team which includes the national coach for each weapon and the science and medicine team. In addition, I consulted with and got the views of the Performance Advisory Group (PAG), which had someone from each weapon, in addition to a number of other fencing representatives.
Once we are in a position to formally announce the names (after 28th May) then I am happy to provide further rationale and the performance processes that helped to influence the decisions.