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Shooter Mark plans to visit wife's room
By Paul Mulvey
20:27 AEST Thu Jul 19 2012

He says he's accepted the umpire's decision but, like a teenager at a school camp, Russell Mark is still planning to sneak into his wife's room in the Olympic village.

Mark and Australia's team boss Nick Green remain friends despite the chef de mission's ruling that the six-time Olympian cannot share a room with shooting teammate and wife Lauryn.

But he has a plan which could stretch the friendship.

"It's like cricket ... at the end of the day the umpire gives you out and you've got to walk," Mark told reporters at Olympic Park in London on Thursday.

"I've walked. And I'll probably walk across the corridor into Lauryn's room. As far as I know, that's not illegal. It's just I've got to get out of there before the sun gets up."

With only Lauryn sitting between them at the top table at the Australian Olympic Committee's daily press briefing on Thursday, Green flinched at hearing this, put his fingers in his ears and said "I didn't hear that."

Despite the apparent good humour, he asked journalists if there were any questions about sport and quickly ended the press conference.

Mark and former rower Green have been friends since they both won gold medals at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and have served together on the AOC athletes' commission and the Victorian Olympic Council.

The pair met when Mark arrived in London on Tuesday and discussed the village rooming plans, which Green had earlier said were designed to suit all athletes and could not be changed to suit individuals.

The AOC said if the Marks were given a room together, five other female athletes would have to share one bathroom.

"We explained the situation, our friendship hasn't changed and we move on," Green said on Thursday.

Mark said he was disappointed the saga was blown out of proportion and had become portrayed as a slanging match between him and Green.

"This isn't the first time Nick and I have disagreed. It was just sad to see it publicly portrayed the way it was," he said.

"This is not a personal issue with Nick ... I'm happy to say Nick and I are still friends.

"I'm entitled to an opinion but Nick's the boss and I respect that they've made their decision and we've got to move on.

"The reality is I'm here to shoot clay targets, not argue about who's going to be sleeping beside me every night.

"Michael Diamond turns up shortly, he'll be in the room with me. He's not as good looking as Lauryn and not as cuddly, but he is my roommate."

Dual gold medallist Diamond will also be competing at his sixth Olympics.

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