Carroll may miss Seville event


Mark Carroll is at risk of being left out of Ireland's squad for the World Championships in Seville in August after his failure to take up an invitation to compete in the Europa Cup meeting in Finland next weekend.

Carroll, who was replaced in the European squad yesterday by Niall Bruton, is understood to have given no reason for declining to run at the meeting in which Ireland will be attempting to protect their Division One status.

He is said to be upset, however, by the late notification of his selection and the possibility that he would have had to pay his own fare from his home in Rhode Island.

Both suggestions were emphatically denied by BLE who said that the athlete was informed of his selection on May 21st, less than 24 hours after the squad was chosen and did not reply until some days later.

"Mark Carroll would have been aware of this important meeting from literature which was forwarded to him in February," said a spokesman. "Like every other athlete, he was notified of his selection within hours.

"The question of paying his fare back from the United States did not arise for he is currently competing in Europe. We are disappointed by his action which contrasts sharply with that of other athletes based abroad."

It's not the first time that Carroll has clashed with the governing body for shortly after finishing third in the European 5,000 metres Championship at Budapest last August, he was highly critical of BLE officials.

The wages of this latest action, however, could be more serious. It is a condition of qualification for the major international championships that Irish athletes must make themselves available for other international fixtures, unless there is a valid reason for not doing so. Additionally, he could lose his grant aid if BLE choose to pursue the matter.

Brendan Reilly, the former British international, will fill the vacant high jump position in the squad going to Finland. Reilly, the leading Irishman at 2.22 metres this season, gets the nomination ahead of Antoine Burke.

With doubts still surrounding the fitness of Paul McBurney, Thomas Coman of Templemore will run the 400 metres while Jacqui Stokes joins the women's 4x100 relay squad.