Dajka on assault charge in South Australia

By Gerard Knapp Suspended Australian track sprinter Jobie Dajka has plunged further into crisis...

By Gerard Knapp

Suspended Australian track sprinter Jobie Dajka has plunged further into crisis after being remanded in custody in Adelaide today.

Yesterday, Dajka was charged with assault and property damage by South Australian Police, who set bail conditions as part of his release. But in the early hours of the morning, Dajka allegedly breached his bail conditions when attempting to contact the victim of his alleged assault. Today, he appeared in court before a magistrate who refused further bail and he was remanded in custody until his next hearing, which is understood will be held next Tuesday.

This court appearance is the latest incident in a sequence of events since the sprinter was disqualified from the Australian track squad and banned from competition in the Athens 2004 Olympics for misleading an official enquiry into the 'Mark French affair'.

He was suspended until January 1, 2005, by Cycling Australia for lying to a doping inquiry headed by Justice Robert Anderson, although Dajka was not convicted of any doping offence. His suspension was imposed for a code of conduct breach.

Dajka then returned to competition in time for the 2005 Australian track cycling national championships, winning gold in the sprint and selection for the Australian track team for the 2005 World Championships held in Los Angeles. It appeared he was seemingly back to his competitive best, even beating Holland's Theo Bos in a round of the sprint competition.

But it didn't last, and on June 8 he assaulted Martin Barras, Australia's national track cycling coach in the offices of the Australian Institute of Sport when he was being counseled for temper outbursts.

Following that incident, Dajka received a three-year suspension from competitive cycling. However, the suspension allowed Dajka to re-apply for his racing licence on June 16, 2006, if he had met requirements of completing anger management courses and counseling.

But the latest alleged incident is not the only matter that has brought Dajka to the attention of authorities in South Australia. He was caught driving under the influence of alcohol and had his licence suspended, but he was then involved in a motor vehicle accident while his driver's licence was suspended.

Dajka has required psychiatric assessments following his outbursts and counseling for substance abuse. He is expected to appear in court next Tuesday.

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