VETERAN athletics trainer Bill Minard's joy over star pupil Fletcher Carney's success at the School Sport Australia track and field championships has been tempered by what he calls 'garbage' creeping into the sport.
In one breath, Minard hailed Carney as potentially the best runner he has seen.
"I am putting my 40-year career as a trainer on the line, but he can be the best of all time," Minard says.
"I have trained plenty of State and National champions, but he is the best I have seen.
"It is great for Fletch to be number two in Australia."
But in the next breath, Minard lamented questionable rulings by the governing body of the national championships, which he believe cost his athletes dearly.
Minard believes Carney was unfairly treated the day before competition, when he wanted to visit a doctor to get a new asthma puffer.
"He was threatened with disqualification if he didn't go on an excursion that was arranged for all States," Minard said.
"That is the joke of all jokes, that is no where in the rules.
"They can be disqualified for is not running in the events they are supposed to, but they can't be disqualified for not going on an excursion.
"I think that had an affect on his performances."
Minard also questioned how students who didn't qualify through their respective State's school championships were allowed to compete at the National titles.
He claims the student who beat Carney in the 100m and 200m finals did not legitimately qualify for the National championships.
He also said another of his athletes, Cassie Maddocks, should be awarded the bronze 200m after a similar occurrence.
Cassie finished fourth in the 200m final, but Minard said she was beaten by a student who was disqualified in the heats of the NSW PSSA championships and therefore should not have been eligible to run at Nationals.
"I think that girl should be removed of her medal and Cassie be given the bronze," he said.
"Fletcher was beaten by someone who wasn't on the computer (prior to the Nationals).
"None of the other coaches knew where he came from. "It's no wonder people are walking away from the sport when garbage like that happens."