Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Former champion Australian cyclist Jobie Dajka found dead

The UK Times is reporting the death of another world-class cyclist, Australian Jobie Dajka.

"The Australian cycling community is in shock at the death of former world and Commonwealth champion rider Jobie Dajka.

The 27-year-old, who won gold at the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002 and who had recently said he hoped to compete at the London Olympics, was found collapsed in his home in Adelaide, South Australia, by police on Monday evening. His death is not believed to be suspicious.

A promising young cyclist, Dajka won gold at the men’s kieren at the world championships in 2002, and was a member of the Australian gold-medal wining men’s team spirit at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002.

However his career spiralled out of control after he was sent home from a pre-Olympic training camp for lying to a doping inquiry just weeks before the Athens Games in 2004.

He suffered weight and alcohol problems and later admitted he had been depressed. He was also convicted in 2005 of assaulting Australia's head track coach Martin Barras...

"Because of what happened back in 2004, where he was taken off the team, I don't think he quite got over that," Mr Victor told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"That was the dream of his lifetime and everything seemed to have gone downhill from then."

A former girlfriend of the cyclist told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph newspaper that Dajka’s death was “tragic”. She said he had recently lost his job and blamed the harsh treatment he received after being expelled from the cycling team as contributing to his long-term depression..."

Full story here.

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