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AOC welcomes BA travel policy review
21:12 AEST Fri Jul 20 2012

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has welcomed Basketball Australia's review into the travel arrangements for its national teams following allegations of gender inequality.

Basketball Australia (BA) has faced criticism after it emerged the majority of the women's team flew to the London Olympics in premium economy, while the men's team travelled business class.

Chef de mission Nick Green said the AOC had covered the cost of a return economy airfare for every member of the Australian team, but the final travel arrangements were determined by each sport's national body.

He told reporters in London he understood BA had involved the women's team, the Opals, in the planning process and that the players were happy with the outcome.

While most of the Opals travelled premium economy, Green said some had travelled business class and team captain Lauren Jackson was upgraded to first class as part of her partnership with the airline as a Qantas Ambassador.

"As I understand it, the women's basketball team were very comfortable with their travel arrangements," he told reporters in London.

BA acting chief executive Scott Derwin said travel decisions were made at an operational level under longstanding policy, with the teams' leaders having some discretion over how their separate budgets were used.

The review was instigated to ensure equity for national teams attending future Olympics, he said in a statement.

Green welcomed the review, adding he remained happy for each sport to determine the best travel arrangements for their athletes.

BA has previously said height and size were among the factors taken into account when booking travel.

The average height of the Boomers is 200.2cm, while the average height of the Opals is 183cm. However, key Opals player Liz Cambage is 203cm tall - a full 20cm taller than Boomers player Patrick Mills.

Boomer Aleks Maric took to Twitter: "if i could fit in economy i would fly economy. Physics proves you cant fit a 7 footer in a 6 footer seat."

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