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Probe into racism

ATHLETICS Australia has appointed an independent investigator to examine racism claims made during this year's Olympics in London by John Steffensen.

A lawyer has been appointed to independently investigate the claims relating to incidents at the Beijing Olympics.

Steffensen has separately been asked to explain his behaviour before the Olympics when he called chief executive of Athletics Australia Dallas O'Brien a liar.

The moves came as part of a broad review of the Olympics by AA, which has resulted in a restructure that has seen high-performance manager Eric Hollingsworth become head coach, answerable to a high-performance director.

Despite the fact that half of Hollingsworth's duties would now be performed by someone else and he would be answerable to that person, AA insisted he had not been demoted.

AA has also changed its selection criteria for next year's world athletics championships back to allow for A and B standard performances, after holding to a stringent A-standard-only policy this year.

The selection deadline will henceforth be brought in line with the International Association of Athletics Federations deadline to avoid this year's embarrassing conflict when steeplechaser Genevieve LaCaze recorded an A-standard performance two days after the AA deadline, but two weeks before the IAAF deadline. She subsequently joined the team.

AA intends to fill the high-performance director role by Christmas.