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Page last updated at 15:52 GMT, Saturday, 18 June 2011 16:52 UK

Phillips Idowu hits back at Van Commenee in Twitter row

Phillips Idowu in the triple jump at the European Athletics Championships 2010 in Barcelona, Spain
Idowu plans to return for the Diamond League meetings in Lausanne and Birmingham

Phillips Idowu has hit back at claims that he used Twitter to reveal he was pulling out of the European Team Championships in Stockholm.

UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee said the triple jump world champion had not followed procedures.

But Idowu insists he informed UKA he would not be competing in Stockholm before he won in New York last weekend.

He said he had 'no relationship' with Van Commenee and accused the Dutchman of lying in his version of events.

"I'm telling the people that I need to tell that I'm not competing," the 32-year-old told BBC Radio 5 live.

"I've not tweeted once about my withdrawals until after I've told the official channels but it's not coming across like that and if Charles is still saying that we had a conversation, I haven't spoken to Charles since I came back from a warm-up event back in May so that's a blatant lie.

"If you're going to lie don't do it to the media. You're just trying to make me look bad and I don't appreciate that. I work way too hard and have worked hard to go out there and compete for my country and come back with gold medals."

Idowu insisted he had agreed a '14-month stepping stone' plan with UK Athletics at the beginning of the winter about where and when he would compete this season in the build-up to next year's Olympic Games in London.

"The European Team Championships, when it fell, would have meant that I'd be doing four competitions within four weeks and it's a long season," he said.

"I was given flight details even though I said on a number of occasions I'm not going to compete. That seems to have [been] lost somewhere.

"Whether Charles picked up the messages or not - that's got nothing to do with me, that's due to his staff. It's kind of unfair that he's gone on television and been talking to the press saying that Phil's an idiot because he tweets and this is the second time that's happened."

Van Commenee said on Friday that "there are certain channels you have to follow" and that he expected "somebody with such a profile to follow these procedures."

The Dutchman also expressed his displeasure at the culture of Twitter, saying the social networking site was "for people with too much time on their hands, for attention-seekers and clowns".

Athletics chief criticises Idowu Twitter use



see also
UK chief unhappy with Idowu tweet
18 Jun 11 |  Athletics
European Team Championships preview
17 Jun 11 |  Athletics
Mullings defeats Gay in New York
12 Jun 11 |  Athletics
Idowu leaps to Birmingham victory
19 Feb 11 |  Athletics
Athletics on the BBC
21 Apr 11 |  Athletics


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