UK Athletics performance director, Neil Black, has today reacted to an embarrassing situation at the European Athletics Team Championships in Poland, where a shot putter was selected to run in the 4x400metres relay, by blaming the gaffe on "a technical error".
The error involved naming shot putter, Youcef Zatat, in the relay team instead of sprinter, Rabah Yousif.
The pair do not in any way resemble each other physically. The only thing they have in common is that the shot putter's first name has a similar sound to the sprinter's surname.
"You know, I've got a difficult job. As well as the day-to-day running of several administrative sections at UK Athletics, I have to deal with athletes, many of whom have foreign-sounding names which are easily confused with each other. What happened here was just an honest-to-goodness mistake, and the athletes involved - the Youssefs - were very understanding."
As a result, Zatat ran the first 400m of his life, on the anchor leg of the race, finishing - not surprisingly - two minutes after other runners had crossed the line. He said:
"I did me best, but I hope they don't pick me again. I wuz cream crackered!"