Aussie weightlifter denies blackmail allegations
An Australian weightlifter says he intends to take legal action after being accused of demanding money to compete at an international competition.
The Australian Weightlifting Federation (AWF) claims Daniel Koum threatened to pull out of last week's Oceania Championships in Samoa if he did not receive a payment of $5000, which would have jeopardised Australia's chances of qualifying for the London Olympics.
Koum, who is originally from Cameroon but became an Australian citizen in 2008, says the claims are false and says the AWF has not contacted him about the matter.
"I'm firmly deny any allegation of impropriety by me," he read from a statement.
"I have also consult with my lawyer and I propose to take legal action against those responsible for publishing these untrue allegation."
The alleged incident happened at the Oceania Championships, which double as an Olympic qualifying competition.
Australia needed a high finish as a team in the event to win a quota spot for one weightlifter to compete in London.
The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) released a statement on Wednesday afternoon saying it was working with the AWF to investigate the matter.
The AWF Board is expected to consider the incident and report back to the AOC's Director of Sport, Fiona de Jong, by Friday.
The AOC said in the statement that its investigation will be ongoing.