Ross, Steffensen fire back in selection row

Sprinters Josh Ross and John Steffensen back down on threats to boycott the Olympics but say they'll continue their fight against Athletics Australia.

Sprinters Josh Ross and John Steffensen are unrepentant for criticising officials in the lead-up to the Olympic Games, despite a public roasting from chef de mission Nick Green.

Both men are upset that they were not considered for individual events.

Ross was hoping for a berth in the 100 metres but will only race in the 4x100m. Similarly, Steffensen was upset that fellow 4x400m relay team member Steve Solomon was nominated in the individual event despite both runners only registering a B qualifier.

Steffensen also alleged discrimination may have been a factor and wants an investigation - something that has the support of team captain Steve Hooker - albeit after the Olympics.

But Green slapped down both runners for raising the prospect of a boycott - a threat they have both now climbed down from.

"It's an absolute honour to represent this country at the Games and if athletes feel, any athlete feels, they don't want to be part of this team and the honour of representing this country, then I'll have that conversation with them," he said.

"I have 410 athletes in this team and these two gentlemen we are talking about, two of them, I have responsibility for the other 408 athletes to ensure their preparation is seamless and not distracted by other things that happen around the village.

"So that's why my suggestion to the athletes and the team is that they get in gear and knuckle down and do what they’re here to do - represent their country.

"My suggestion would be that you get into the village, you put your head down and your bum up and you just concentrate on your job - and that is to run and compete for this country.

"That selection policy has been in play for many years. Before the Olympic Games starts every athlete knows about it.

"In the case of Josh Ross, there was no appeal made. He had the option of making an appeal and he didn't.

"I'm unsure why he's bringing it up on the eve of competition."

Steffensen fired back from the athletics team base in Tonbridge, south of London.

"I'm disappointed with Nick Green's comments in the media, an athlete I admired and had a lot respect for, and I really thought I would have the support from such a role model," Steffensen said.

"This was never a stunt like an ignorant few have suggested in the press to bring race into the equation because I was not selected, but more to bring attention to the flaws in the federation selection criteria but most importantly the lack of a no-tolerance of racism and discrimination in our sport.

"Justice will be served and hopefully [there will be] an independent review, which I plea to the government to do, post the Olympic Games.

"I feel at this point it must wait, the fight must wait, it must be put on hold in respect for my fellow athletes and uphold what the Games are really about."

Ross also maintained the selection policy was flawed, saying officials have dodged questions on why he missed out.

"Now I'm making them look like fools," he said.

"I just ran 10.23 seconds a couple of days ago in Italy in cold, 14-degree weather in the rain with puddles on the track."

He says he is in career-best form and on track for a quarter-final or semi-final berth.

"Why wouldn't you provisionally select me, nominate me, and see how I was going closer to the Games?" he said.

"It only makes sense, but obviously selectors don't have any common sense."

Swimmer Geoff Huegill added his voice to the criticism of Steffensen and Ross this morning, accusing them of "whingeing because they didn't get the opportunity to race in the 100m in the track and field".

"That is not what the Olympics are about," Huegill told the ABC's Rachael Brown.

"When you wear the green and gold you are full of pride. It's not your God-given right to be an Olympian, it's a privilege to be here and to represent your country."

Join the conversation during the Olympics on FANGO as we bring you the pick of events over the two weeks.

There will be polls, trivia and a whole lot of chat beginning with the Olympics opening ceremony.

List of events:

Saturday, July 28, 4am: Opening ceremony

Sunday July 29, 4am: Stephanie Rice’s 400m IM, women’s 4x100m relay

Monday, July 30: Men’s freestyle 4x100m relay

Thursday, August 2, 4.30am: James Magnussen’s 100m freestyle

Monday, August 6, 3.50am: Usain Bolt and the 100m final

Wednesday, August 8, 3.50am: Sally Pearson and the 100m hurdles.

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