Anti-stalking court order for ex-coach

SYDNEY: A court placed an anti-stalking order on Australia's former head Olympic swimming coach yesterday following allegations he harassed a one-time protege. 

Under the Apprehended Violence Order issued by a Sydney court, Greg Hodge was banned from contacting the former pupil, Emma Fuller, or going within 50m of her home for the next 12 months. 

Hodge agreed to the measure without making any admissions concerning Fuller's allegations. 

Fuller, 20, claimed Hodge sexually harassed her when she was a 12-year-old boarder living in his home in the 1990s and that he stalked her last year. 

Hodge, 55, has strenuously denied the claims and last month won a defamation action against Channel Nine, the television station that first aired the allegations. 

The Supreme Court has not yet determined what damages Hodge is entitled to. 

He was barred from contact with athletes after the allegations were made and in December was replaced as Australian Swimming high performance director, a position in which he had been overseeing preparations for the Athens Olympics. 

Hodge said he agreed to the order because he could not afford to contest it while also pursuing his defamation action. 

“The main game for us is the legal action against Channel Nine and Ms Fullers’ allegations will be tested in the Supreme Court damages hearing,” he said in a statement. “I am confident that when tested the allegations will be shown to be baseless,” he said. – AFP 

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