Boomers fly business, Opals economy

NZ Newswire Updated July 19, 2012, 10:47 pm

Australia's Olympic boss says it's up to sports bodies to decide what flight class their athletes travel in, not the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC).

Chef de Mission Nick Green said he wasn't aware of any arrangement that led to the men's basketballers flying business class to London while the women's team flew premium economy.

Green said the AOC provided the Olympic sports authorities with a return economy fare from Sydney to London for each of its athletes.

But what a sports body did from there was essentially up to them, he said.

"What the sports do with that, and any upgrades or whatnot on their athletes then it's up to the sport to determine that," he said.

"I'm not sure of the arrangement that Basketball Australia may have had with their men's and women's basketball teams."

A Basketball Australia spokeswoman quoted in Fairfax Media said each team helped decide how their budget would be spent, but wouldn't state whether the Boomers received more funding than the Opals.

The Opals, who won silver medals at the past three Olympics, were not the only team to rough it on the long-haul flight while their male counterparts enjoyed a bit of luxury.

Japan's world champion women's football team flew premium economy for a 13-hour journey to Europe for the Games while the men's under-23 squad flew business on the same flight.

"It should have been the other way around," 2011 FIFA Women's World Player of the Year Homare Sawa told Japanese media.

The Japan Football Association said the men flew business class because they are professionals.