UK Athletics boss Van Commenee criticises Idowu tweet

European Team Championships

  • Venue: Stockholm, Sweden
  • Date: 18-19 June

Coverage: Live on BBC 2 and BBC Radio 5 live

The head of UK Athletics says he is unhappy that Phillips Idowu used Twitter to reveal he was pulling out of the European Team Championships.

Kolo Adedoyin has replaced the 32-year-old triple jump world champion for the Stockholm meeting after Idowu withdrew, blaming too much travel.

Athletics chief criticises Idowu Twitter use

"These things are done personally, there are certain channels you have to follow," said Charles van Commenee.

"I expect somebody with such a profile to follow these procedures."

Idowu, who will defend his world title in South Korea later this year, later took to his Twitter account  again to indicate he was not happy with Van Commenee's comments.

He tweeted: "So much 2 say about euro team press conf, & my alleged 'talk wiv head coach'. But Dat cn wait til afta teammates hav competed. Gd luck guys."

A few minutes later he added: "Please don't take me for an idiot!" He then posted: "Read this crap!" and linked to an article containing Van Commenee's views.

Idowu received an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List last weekend and beat his rivals in Saturday's Diamond League meeting in New York.

The Londoner has missed Great Britain's last two competitions - the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and the World Indoor Championships in Paris.

Van Commenee said his decision to sit out the Stockholm meeting was reasonable, but the way he went about it announcing it was not.

"We want the world champion to be in the team but he decided it didn't fit in after a lot of travelling," said Van Commenee.

"I can understand that but I'm unhappy about the timing of the decision after selection and the way he chose to communicate through Twitter."

Van Commenee denied the use of Twitter was a problem among athletes, but said they needed education.

"You can't forbid athletes to use Twitter, this is an issue we have to deal with in modern times," he said.

"It's not like we will forbid anything - it's trying to influence and help athletes to use the medium in a smarter way."

Dai Greene captains a Great Britain team that, as well as Idowu, is missing Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and Christine Ohuruogu.

However, Welshman Greene will be confident in the 400m hurdles and more British success could come from Andy Turner (110m hurdles), Dwain Chambers and Anyika Onuora (men's and women's 100m) and Chris Tomlinson (long jump).

Injured quartet Tom Parsons (high jump), Michael Rimmer (800m), Chris Thompson (5,000m) and Hatti Dean (3,000m steeplechase) miss the event for precautionary reasons. They are replaced by Samson Oni, Gareth Warburton, Andy Vernon and Eilish McColgan respectively.

Full team list on the UK Athletics website