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A response from Brett Sutton, and Chrissie
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Daz




Joined: 15 May 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 4:35 pm    Post subject: A response from Brett Sutton, and Chrissie Reply with quote

[Chrissie's message/response on page2]

I have been asked to paste this up.
It's a response from Brett Sutton to TriTalk, following some of our recent threads/discussions:

Quote:
It is not my intention to defend the indefensible in considering other peoples views of me,
my own is quite horrendous enough to live with every day. However, time and time again, for well over 10 yrs, those with little knowledge of the situation as it happened - other than sheer gossip, innuendo and false information – are using this to character assassinate athletes, who are given the facts after they wanted to find out from others who, on the inside, know what really happened. The insinuation, they are coached by me just because of a few seconds here and there is demeaning to them.

The fact that once the athletes stay and spend 6 hrs a day with me, and make their own clear informed judgement, is viewed as being some sort of demonic act of supporting child abuse, is very very sad to say the least.

Here is the reason why the athletes I coach are much more clearly informed than the people on triathlon forums. There are internal swim squad members that were around during the time the incident happened, and some then went into triathlon, and their career mixed with the next generation of athletes that wanted to know what really happened. These new athletes trained with the group, which contained the female involved in the incident. They all trained together on a daily basis and for at least two seasons saw her interact with me, not only in training but at the Surfers Paradise triathlon club, at social gatherings, and even saw her officiate at some of the clubs races. These athletes still hold positions in the sport today. They were called as witnesses and were subject to 3 rounds of interviews by Triathlon Australia. These interviews were not made public. Later, in a published document, the High Performance Manager at the time, said that I asked him to conduct interviews with all girls that I had any interaction with, from 20yr old and under. His actual report was never made public, as it did not show one incident of impropriety. The Manager also stated publicly, in triathlon magazines, that he was approached by the woman’s new husband - who happened to be a triathlon coach in Australia - about the incident, and the woman’s husband was advised that it was up to him to make it a police matter if he so wished. This is what happened some 8 yrs later.

The police conducted 200 interviews with female swimmers and found not one complaint. A private detective also conducted interviews. I was not jailed, but given a suspended sentence. The judges reasons were again published, but no one in triathlon agreed with his opinion on the matter and the sentencing. In the court case it was established, without hesitation, that it was consensual - much to the dismay of the coach that had brought foreword the complaint in the first place.

The judge did not condone the actions in any way, however he was handed evidence, very similar to what one of your posters alluded to, with 3 sworn testimonies from 3 swimmers in that group at the time, that they would give evidence of dressing room talk. He had at least 30 affidavits from members of the Surfers Paradise triathlon club of them seeing the girl happily training with everyone, and partaking in all club activities with no problems at all. Some listed private conversations she had had with older champion athletes, that were very supportive of me, and who were in that very squad of people.

I have suggested that new, incoming athletes, like Chrissie, speak to the athletes that have been with me for 15 years and who were in the squad at the time if they want to understand the whole story. The older athletes are very willing to tell people the situation as they saw it and how they lived it.

But be very aware - this is not about me giving an excuse. What I did was wrong, and the agony of doing wrong has not lessened for me since that time.

I just want to tell you the truth about how my athletes make their judgements, and the information they have availed to them to do so. I have walked away from many great athletes because I did not want them, once they become a champion, to carry the burden of my past, as people on the triathlon forums and elsewhere like to dissect. Why do they stay with me till they are champs and then they move on? Oh, it “must be burn out". In over 70% of the cases they don’t move on - I do, because of me not handling the pressure of watching them
go through what you are putting a very good human being through right now. The emphasis is on ‘human’. She is being slaughtered because she came and saw, asked all the right questions, discussed with those with knowledge and decided on a 3 month trial to see what the man was like for herself. All that was done before she become a triathlon monster.
She came, she heard, then she experienced and then decided to find it in herself to forgive, and now it would seem I have to again move on for her to have any peace.

People, I have no wish to be exonerated, especially by the uninformed. I have had athletes who have had this information then declined to join and we have accepted that, in the true spirit as it should be taken, and have kept congenial relations with them. What I would like is just some tolerance for these athletes who have done nothing wrong - who are 2 generations removed from the incident. They are not uninformed, just the opposite, and they are very good people in society, or they can’t stay in the team. We dont select on performance alone, as many have found to their displeasure, but those on teamtbb, donate their time to
others less fortunate, their money, but also their being. Chrissie 3 weeks after Hawaii was training with 3 Pilipino girls, and other Brits in the group were donating kick boards, swim apparel to children in Thailand, while most of my squad, down to Emma Snowsill, have done a stint in Brazil, not only to become faster athletes but to promote a social project there that Reinaldo Colluci came out of, and now is the patron and chief mentor. We as a team go and live and train with these people. Team tbb is not a photo op and a donation, and let’s all just carry on in the comforts of our community organisation. These athletes shift and spend at least 4 months a year where it is happening, and where they are best needed to effect some change.

Guys, make me the pariah and go your hardest, you cant go down to the level I feel about myself. But do a rethink, on these champions. Their character is not, and should not, be placed in question, because of their ability to forgive. They are making a difference, as their team manger likes to say ‘2 wheels at a time’. They should be embraced, and supported, not torn down because of some interaction with me .

Thank you for your time

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Last edited by Daz on Thu Sep 25, 2008 10:10 am; edited 2 times in total
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e-j




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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks Daz.
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iainm




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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

let's see how this thread develops. Rolling Eyes i'll sit back and watch it go...after just saying that i didn't think BS needs to be concerned about chrissie
Quote:
being slaughtered
, it was more to do with the whole should BS be working/would you work with him etc argument
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mitten.




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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Daz and thankyou to Brett Sutton for posting this, irrespective of how people may feel about him. In agreement with iainm, I don't think people were having a personal attack on Chrissie Wellington because of her choice of coach - or at least I didn't read it that way.
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AndyS.




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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have some Q's, Is that a generic response? Is Chrissie really bothered? Did she not know it was going to happen? The response says it's been going on for years so I'm guessing she must of. Or is Daz upset by what's being said? I fully understand that point of view and it's not a dig.

What is a dig is I posted in the now deleted thread how I was happy to go with Chrissie's choice of coach as she would have first hand information and be able to make an informed decision, more than we're able to do. But it's been deleted and now I read a post about how upset she is. Shouldn't have deleted the posts then.

One thing's for sure, I don't want to be contemplating the intricacies of child abuse on a triathlon forum, the sport that I enjoy doing to unwind from real life.
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die trying




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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well you can't kock him for his attitude to this. He is a convicted sex offender and most in his position would run a mile from a thread such as been rumbling on TT for a while. He has come out and said you can think what you like of him and he does not hide the shame he feels for his actions, but leave his athletes alone. That pretty much sums up my feelings towards the bloke and his athletes. There was a comment about his athletes supporting his position in the triathlon community by letting him coach them, but I hope Chrissie wins Kona and Bella kicks ass in IM next year. My feelings towards Brett Sutton himself are somewhat different, but I think that pretty much sums up everything I have to say right now and its time to move on.
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tailender




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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

die trying wrote:
Well you can't kock him for his attitude to this. He is a convicted sex offender and most in his position would run a mile from a thread such as been rumbling on TT for a while. He has come out and said you can think what you like of him and he does not hide the shame he feels for his actions, but leave his athletes alone. That pretty much sums up my feelings towards the bloke and his athletes. There was a comment about his athletes supporting his position in the triathlon community by letting him coach them, but I hope Chrissie wins Kona and Bella kicks ass in IM next year. My feelings towards Brett Sutton himself are somewhat different, but I think that pretty much sums up everything I have to say right now and its time to move on.


I think that pretty much sums up my position on this as well. Thanks, saved me a job writing it out Rolling Eyes
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Daz




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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AndyS. wrote:
I have some Q's, Is that a generic response? Is Chrissie really bothered? Did she not know it was going to happen? The response says it's been going on for years so I'm guessing she must of. Or is Daz upset by what's being said? I fully understand that point of view and it's not a dig.


Andy Rolling Eyes,
Chrissie contacted me yesterday, asking me to post this message from Brett Sutton on to TriTalk. He had been reading our threads. Thats all I can tell you. Nothing to do with me. I also share the same feelings as die trying.
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AndyS.




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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, thanks Daz, chrissie and BS.

I'll add that none of this has altered my opinion of CW in any way, she's a bloody excellent athlete and a delight to listen to. I will certainly be waving my flat at the PC on October 11th.
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Tongy




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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On a lighter note, I wish he'd post so eloquently on teamtbb! Very Happy

I am glad Mr Sutton has asked this to be posted, shows alot of character if nothing else.

I am sure that I speak for everyone here when I say good luck to the team and I wish those bods (Chrissie, Bayl-erford, Csomor et al) the very best of luck on what I really hope to be a great day on the big island!

Cheers
Andy
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martidj




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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've studiously stayed out of this debate up till now. But it has got pretty heated and a lot of it brings no credit to Tritalk. Having met Brett Sutton on two occasions and spoken at length to many of his squad I reckon I'm better qualified to comment than most.

Rather than a rant, I pose a question.

Why do so many of the world's top triathletes beat a path to his door ?
(at their own cost I might add)

The answer is simple - his athletes win all the time !
Chrissie Wellington being the most famous recent example but here have been others - Hamish Carter, Emma Snowshill, Rebecca Preston, Stephen Bayliss . . . . and there are many more.

Perhaps people on TT should listen to what he has to say. You might all learn something.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice post, Daz.

Thank you, Mr Sutton, for your input. I hope you can read our other topical posts with interest as well. A bit sad that the one/two/three that brought the site to your attention were so rabid.

I would be interested in anything that you would like to share to help with training, racing and the mental side of triathlon - all, I'm sure, more worthy of debate on this forum than the invasion of your privacy.

Kind regards,
B Cool
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BEEF




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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hope you guy's don'tmind me posting here but as a newbie to triathlon and in particular TT I have been fascinated by the Brett Sutton saga.

Until joining the forum I have to say I had never heard of him.

After reading his quite elogant and thought provoking message it is plain to see that whatever happened in the past has left a permanent mark on him. That's not excusing anything that he has been found guilty/not guilty of but I can only imagine that it causes ongoing distress.

It certaily sounds like he falls into the category of may coaches in many sports who have an incident/s in their past that sticks with them throughout their careers.

Lance Armstrong for example has strong connections with Dr Michele Ferrari who himself has been accused of various misdemeanors and even his own coach Chris Carmichael hasn't gone without controversy.

The pint made previously about the number of athletes who choose to employ him is testament to one side of the mans character/ability and that should be applauded. The rest of his life is always going to be open to criticism and everyone will have an opinion on the man.

For me life goes on.......

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lambertsimnel




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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A good post Daz - hopefully now Tritalk can lay this one to rest.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot for this Daz, CW and BS.

I've banged on about this a fair bit. My main reason being that I thought no discussion was taking place that included those involved. Some people avoided talking about these issues. Thanks for the frankness.
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