REUTERS - Philippa Savage has been dumped from the Australian rowing team for the London Olympics after falling out with her team mates, Rowing Australia (RA) has said.
Savage was due to compete in the quad sculls at Eton Dorney later this year but was “de-selected” on the eve of last weekend’s World Cup regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland and replaced by reserve Amy Clay.
The 31-year-old, who finished 10th in the women’s single scull at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was sent home on Tuesday after signalling she would appeal the decision to an RA tribunal.
“The decision follows concerns around the performance of the crew due to incompatibility issues among the crew,” RA national high performance director Andrew Matheson said in a statement.
”The incompatibility was affecting the preparation and performance of the crew and came to a head shortly before World Cup 2 in Lucerne.
”A number of remediation measures were taken to improve crew harmony and crew performance but ultimately we felt that in the best interests of the boat, Pippa’s place in the crew was unsustainable.
“This step was taken after careful and lengthy consideration of all the issues. It is an extremely difficult decision, but one that is taken in the best interests of the women’s quadruple scull and their eventual performance at the 2012 London Olympic Games.”
The row could end up at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) if Savage is not satisfied by the tribunal’s verdict.
It is also certain to revive memories of the acrimony surrounding the “Lay Down Sally” controversy at the Athens Olympics eight years ago, when Sally Robbins inexplicably stopped rowing 400 metres from the end of the eights final.
Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford