Heat Put On Todd Over Cocaine Allegations
New Zealand’s top Olympic authority, the NZ Olympic Committee, is asking Mark Todd to contact it to clear up allegations of whether he took cocaine.
The request comes after British Tabloid the Sunday Mirror continued its attack on the equestrian, publishing a blurry photograph of a man snorting cocaine they allege is Mr. Todd.
The newspaper earlier accused Mr. Todd of taking cocaine in a hotel room and having sex with a gay lover. Mr. Todd, based in Britain, has refused to deny the allegations, saying he wished to put the matter behind him.
The general secretary of the committee, Mike Hooper is concerned the cloud hanging over Mr. Todd will also blemish New Zealand's international reputation.
Hooper is also concerned by Eventing New Zealand selector Joan McCall's comments on the matter reported on the newspaper’s website.
Questioned by the newspaper Mr. McCall dismissed the allegations as irrelevent- "If he did take it, it was probably a one-off thing”.
"I don't give a hoot."
Mr. Hooper has formally complained about the remarks. He said the comments were “disgraceful” because they promote the idea that drug taking among sports people were okay.
He has tried to contact Mr. Todd through his lawyers all week to clarify the allegations, but had not yet had a response.
While not a performance enhancer, cocaine is nevertheless a banned substance by the International Olympic Committee.
Meanwhile, the new chairman in waiting John Davies has made his views on the matter clear.
He said Todd's silence was causing the sporting community embarrassment and damaging the country's reputation in overseas sporting circles.