Sport

Scandal takes a toll on Jordan Mercer

Noosa ironwoman Jordan Mercer has maintained her rigorous training schedule despite feeling the strain of controversy.
Noosa ironwoman Jordan Mercer has maintained her rigorous training schedule despite feeling the strain of controversy. Harvpixcomau

IRONMAN great Darren Mercer has broken his silence over the tawdry scandal tarnishing the name of his daughter - leading ironwoman Jordan Mercer.

Mercer said the scandal - which centred on serious alleged misconduct by young competitors at a party following last month's world championships in Adelaide - had been "exhaustive" for his family.

While he chose his words carefully for fear of inflaming the situation even more, he made it clear the controversy had rocked his 19-year-old daughter.

However, he praised her for staying focused on training while preparing for the opening round of the Telstra Ironwoman Series in Perth on Sunday.

Mercer, a former Coolangatta Gold champion and multiple national ironman champion who coaches his daughter at Noosa, says she has "trained well all the way through".

"She's really well prepared," he said.

"Everything we've wanted to do we've been able to do … physically she's ready to go.

"Obviously, it's been a drain on the family mentally."

He added: "She's been incredible. She's been pretty focused. I guess that's what kept her going, and the support from friends and everyone else has been great.

"I just think it's been pretty exhausting. That's probably the best way to put it."

Jordan was one of six Australian under-20 representatives suspended over an alleged sexual assault and illegal drug use.

Surf Life Saving Australia announced this week that her suspension and the suspensions of two other competitors had been lifted following a hearing by an independent judicial committee it appointed.

Jordan has received an official reprimand, however, and will have to perform extra patrols,

Earlier this week Jordan's lawyer, Christopher Branson QC, accused SLSA of "gross unfairness" over its handling of the matter.

"Her reputation is tarnished forever," he told AAP.

"She has been treated with grotesque unfairness. The original suspension was imposed without any notice or hearing or opportunity to respond.

"Here's Jordie, the shining star of the SLSA galaxy ... and why are they crucifying her? Excuse my French, they f***ed her over."

Another three lifesavers have requested their hearings be adjourned until February 9 and remain suspended.

Topics:  jordan mercer surf life saving



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