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Three years can be cut to one if sprinter meets “anger management” requirements
By Agence France Presse
Controversial cyclist Jobie Dajka was suspended Thursday for three years by a Cycling Australia disciplinary tribunal Thursday that determined he had assaulted head track coach Martin Barras.
Cycling Australia (CA) said the incident occurred last week at the High Performance Program offices in Adelaide. The suspension would take immediate effect.
CA said in a statement that the tribunal took into account medical evidence relating to Dajka’s state of mental health. As a result, CA said, the tribunal determined that Dajka, 24, may apply to have the penalty suspended and reapply for his Cycling Australia license after one year if he meets several conditions.
The tribunal ruled that in order to reapply, Dajka must seek immediate treatment as his medical practitioners prescribe, and that such treatment include a course in anger management.
After successful treatment Dajka would also be required to undertake 80 hours of community service for the sport of cycling by speaking about his experiences, the difficulties he has faced and the lessons he has learned. “The tribunal has acknowledged, as do Cycling Australia, that the health of Mr. Dajka is a serious concern and must be addressed,” Cycling Australia CEO Graham Fredericks said in the statement.
“However, we have a responsibility to safeguard the well-being of all the athletes and staff involved with the cycling program and Mr. Dajka’s behavior was unacceptable. “We sincerely hope this young man gets the help he needs but until he does it is obvious that he should avoid the stress and pressure associated with elite competition.”
Dajka’s adviser Kerry Ruffels said he was pleased with the tribunal’s decision.
“It allows Jobie to regain full health both physically and mentally whilst at the same time allowing him the opportunity to fulfil his dream of representing Australia again,” Ruffels said in the CA statement. “I have spoken to Jobie and advised him of the outcome and Jobie made an immediate and strong commitment to fulfil the requirements as laid down by the tribunal.
“He accepts that his actions were totally inappropriate and that statements he made in the wake of last week’s hearing were wrong and irrational,” Ruffels said. “Jobie apologizes for any damage he has inflicted on his fellow cyclists and the sport.”
Dajka, a former world sprint champion, could still face police action regarding the assault.
Dajka was overlooked for last year’s Olympic team to Athens when found to have lied to a doping inquiry about injecting legal supplements.