Russian pole vaulter costs Australia 'up to $100,000'

Yahoo!7 July 12, 2012, 3:47 pm

In 2010, Australia thought they had bought a world-class pole vaulter, Sergey Kucheryanu.

However, the experiment failed and he ended up being a waste of up to $100,000 as he fled the country, News Limited reports.

The Russian athlete will now represent Russia at the London Olympics against Australia's defending champion Steve Hooker.

Two-and-a-half years ago Athletics Australia were successful in their request to the International Association of Athletics Federations and its Russian counterparts in bringing Kucheryanu to Australia to train at the West Australian Institute of Sport.

He was believed to be a pet project of Athletics Australia high performance manager Eric Hollingsworth.

"Sergey join group for few month. He came with wife and a daughter but moved back to Russia for the family reason," said Alex Parnov, the man who coached Kucheryanu during his time in Australia.

"WAIS gave him full support while he stayed in Oz," he said.

The plan was to have Kucheryanu become an Australian citizen in time for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Kucheryanu's wife and child also made the journey to Australia, the move costing approximately $50,000 to $100,000 in cash.


At the time it sounded like a bright idea as the Russian joined Olympic champion Steve Hooker at his training group in Perth.

Seven months after arriving in Australia and training under Alex Parnov, Kucheryanu fled Australia for his homeland.

"I'm told we put no money into him (Kucheryanu) at all. We don't fund any athlete who is ineligible to compete for Australia. He was not on a full scholarship at WAIS" said Athletics Australia board member and spokesman Matthew Mahon.

It's understood there was uncertainty as to whether or not Kucheryanu would become an Australian citizen in time for the Olympic Games.

Kucheryanu has been named in the Russian team to compete at London.

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48 Comments

  1. m01:27am Friday 13th July 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    the aussie women were no good for him...so he went back!

    Reply
  2. G Smith12:45am Friday 13th July 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    hi all i dont care or watch olympics or socceroos frank lowe name is on it and frank lowe never spoke of his involvement in 9/11

    Reply
  3. G Smith12:42am Friday 13th July 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    olympics who cares they only show australians swimming or running if they showed all of olympic events and all players gr8 i dont even watch it have not done for years socceroos are the same they were on SBS now i dont even know what rip off frank lowe has perpetrated upon the australian peopleas soon as Frank lowe the australian refugee from a european israeli family who always were institutional investors and as long as frank lowe who never ever publically said anything about his involvement in 9/11 with birnstein his buddy from the israeli army i steer clear of anything he has his name to including westfield and veolia which is an israeli company partially owned by the pratt family and frank lowe

    Reply
  4. A11:25pm Thursday 12th July 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    A commo never change its colour red!

    1 Reply
  5. favour10:55pm Thursday 12th July 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Its diff to believe no money was spent on him, so who paid the relocation amount($50-100,000)? I hope a good lesson is learnt from this!

    Reply
  6. amie reynolds09:28pm Thursday 12th July 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    What olympics, have they come around again? Who cares.............

    Reply
  7. limpy09:14pm Thursday 12th July 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    "I'm told we put no money into him (Kucheryanu) at all. We don't fund any athlete who is ineligible to compete for Australia. He was not on a full scholarship at WAIS" said Athletics Australia board member and spokesman Matthew Mahon. So it appears to be private sponsorship not taxpayers money. settle down you right wing soap boxers. try thinking before you start yelling rubbish.

    Reply
  8. Liam08:49pm Thursday 12th July 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Read the article - In 2010, Australia thought they had bought a world-class pole vaulter, Sergey Kucheryanu.... Seven months after arriving in Australia...fled Australia for his homeland. That means at best, he left in 2011, well over 12 months ago!!! So what if he's competing in a Russian team suit - I think that the Olympics is more about individual elite athletes performing against each other rather than doing it for the countries that they represent. It's not his fault if there is only a handful of elite level pole vaulters in Australia, with any luck Australian athletes could learn a thing or two from him during his time training with our WAIS. Good luck to all the athletes competing in London - regardless of whatever country you are representing. It is remarkable that they rose to become the best in their chosen sport

    Reply
  9. Stingray08:23pm Thursday 12th July 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    So typical, throw all the taxpayer's money at as many non Australians as possible whilst our pensioners are cold and hungry and families are struggling to make ends meet. and Qldrs had to struggle to get some assistance after the floods (Only Gillard and cronies gave themselves payrises that nearly doubled their pay) This story is so 'normal' for Australia!

    Reply
  10. Dna Kangur08:19pm Thursday 12th July 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    2 word for this - "Greed" and "Karma" ... it is sad though, that tax payers' money had to be wasted like this... the money could have saved a homeless - domestic violence or homicide child victim...very sad indeed

    Reply
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