Thursday, August 10, 2000

Dominique Moceanu's grievance to compete at the upcoming U.S. Championships has been denied by a three-member panel. A hearing was held Wednesday evening.

Moceanu filed a grievance when her petition to compete at the U.S. Championships was rejected after the recent U.S. Classic in Kansas City.

"The panel wants [Moceanu] to compete as much as the selection committee does, but we concur with their analysis that there is no reasonable way to justify that she should be allowed to compete in the 2006 Visa Championships," said the committee in its in summary decision.

Moceanu maintains that she was told in writing that the requirements to successfully petition to the U.S. Championships were to attend the national team training camp in July and to compete on at least one event at the U.S. Classic, and was not informed that other criteria would be used.

The three-member panel was composed of chair Marje Kiley, David Kennedy and former rhythmic gymnast Jessica Howard. One of the panel dissented.

"The reasoning behind this was that it is very difficult to be a 'come back' competitor and that the ambiguity of the petitioning goals/criteria in this situation were unfair to [Moceanu]," said the summary decision. "This person believes that the unintentional miscommunication between her coach and the USAG was detrimental to [Moceanu] and that there was no harm in letting her compete."

After the grievance committee's decision was announced, Moceanu sent out the following statement:

"For those that are confused about me being blocked from the U.S. Nationals and my appeal being rejected by USAG, the bottom line is that I simply wanted to be given a chance to compete.

Never did the Women�s Athlete Selection Committee convey to me or my coach, Michael Canales, that the scores at the US Classic competition had any bearing on qualifying to the Nationals. My coach and I had been notified that two specific criteria needed to be achieved to enable me to compete at Nationals.

  1. 1. Attend a National Team Training Camp at my own expense. (ACCOMPLISHED)
  2. 2. Compete at the U.S. Classic on at least one event (competed on two events). (ACCOMPLISHED)

I completed both of these criteria.

I was not seeking any special favors — I just requested what I believe I rightfully earned — a chance to compete fairly at Nationals.

It's disappointing, but I am grateful to all of you fans and friends who have supported me with words of encouragement. You'll be seeing more of me soon!"


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