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Boxer who killed daughter will fight in the Olympics


I give up. This board is too hard to understand.
Should this guy be allowed to compete in the Olympics? He has a history of violence so I guess he's in the right sport. He killed his 5 month old daughter and has 7 convictions of assult since being released from prison. Doesn't sound like a guy that should be representing his county even if it is New Zealand.


Boxer who killed daughter in row over selection
Posted: Monday June 21, 2004 11:35PM; Updated: Monday June 21, 2004 11:35PM

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) -- New Zealand's national Olympic body was forced Tuesday to defend its selection for the Athens Olympics a boxer convicted of killing his infant daughter.

Soulan Pownceby served four years in jail from 1995 for the manslaughter of his five-month-old child. Since his release he has seven further convictions for assault, most recently an assault on a woman four years ago.

Women's groups and organizations campaigning against domestic violence have denounced the light-heavyweight's selection as New Zealand's sole boxing representative at the Athens Games in August.

Women's Refuge, which provides safe houses and counseling to battered women and children, described Pownceby's selection as "shocking, shameful and appalling."

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clarke entered the debate Tuesday, calling on Pownceby to "make a total public declaration of what he's done and talk about a resolve to absolutely put it behind him."

Clarke was responding to reporters' questions and to television news shows which suggested Pownceby's latest conviction was more recent than 2000.

New Zealand Olympic Committee secretary-general Barry Maister said he made a thorough review of Pownceby's past before endorsing his nomination for selection, which was put forward by national boxing authorities.

Maister said committee members had interviewed Pownceby on several occasions and had spoken to police, who raised no objections to his inclusion in New Zealand's Olympic team.

"We've carried out what we think is a very thorough investigation," he said.

The New Zealand Boxing Association was reported to be reviewing Pownceby's nomination. Chairman Keith Walker said the association's executive would meet by conference call to determine whether the nomination should be rescinded.

"We are going to talk about the issues that have arisen from the appointment and whether we do need to revisit it and make another decision," Walker said.

Walker had previously defended the selection saying Pownceby had represented New Zealand on three occasions on which his behavior had been exemplary.

"He has performed well and has conducted himself in the manner we expect our representatives to do," Walker said. "There is no reason to doubt he won't once again perform in that way."

Sheryl Hann, spokeswoman for Women's Refuge, said her organization had written to the Olympic committee to express outrage at Pownceby's selection.

"Our experience is that men who change take a long time to do it because it takes a whole lot of work on their part to change from being an abusive person to being a nonviolent person," she said.

"I don't think four years since his last conviction is enough time for him to show that he's turned his life around."

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
A convicted felon? I don't think so. No way he should be given the honor of representing his country. New Zealand must not think much of itself.

Then again, it is New Zealand- there may not be much to choose from.
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I can't believe they are letting this guy go. No way I'd want him representing me in any way, shape, or form.

I guess they figure he's going to need ot to survive the mean streets of Athens, though. These Olympics worry me.
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