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Steffensen joins Athletics Australia board

AAP logoAAP 30/07/2016 John Salvado

Having spent much of his career openly battling officialdom, controversial ex-runner John Steffensen has joined the board of Athletics Australia.

Steffensen's relationship with AA reached its lowest point at the 2012 London Olympics, when he missed selection for the individual 400m and accused the governing body of racial discrimination.

He also labelled then AA chief executive Dallas O'Brien a liar.

Steffensen was later banned for six months for bringing the sport into disrepute, the second suspension of his career.

But AA president Mark Arbib - who replaced David Grace last year - has brought the Athens Olympics 4x400m relay silver medallist and 2006 Commonwealth Games individual 400m champion back into the fold.

Steffensen's close relationships with leading Caribbean and US sprinters are highly valued by AA, who will launch a new TV-friendly summer athletics series next year.

"Athletics means a great deal to me, it's the same pressure as running, you have to deliver," said the 33-year-old Steffensen.

"I look forward to joining a team that is working so hard to get the sport to the forefront of Australian sport."

Steffensen replaces former 50km walk world record holder Nathan Deakes on the AA board.

Arbib said he was delighted by Steffensen's appointment.

"He has been a passionate contributor to the sport of athletics for many years and has inspired many," Arbib said in a statement.

"His appointment to the board is a game changer for Australian athletics."

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