Ex-curling champ sues former national coach for saying she 'refused to play for her country'

Curling stone: Former champ sues national coach over remarks.
Curling stone: Former champ sues national coach over remarks.

The former skip of the Scottish women’s curling team told a court that she was horrified by allegations that she had refused to play for her country by the ex-national coach.

Gail Munro told the Court of Session in Edinburgh that she had been involved in international curling for a number of years and that the claims had damaged her reputation.

She said on Wednesday: "I have been involved in international curling for quite a number of years both coaching and playing and felt I had a very good standing in the international curling community.

"I just felt at that moment that that reputation and that standing had cascaded around me."

Mrs Munro, 43, now a manager at an ice rink, is suing the former national coach Derek Brown £50,000 for damaging her reputation as an international curler.

Mr Brown, 44, who is currently director of high performance for the US Curling Association in Wisconsin is contesting the case.

When her counsel Roddy Dunlop QC asked what affect the coach’s comments had had on her career she said: “It is difficult to quantify but I do feel that the few international events which I have attended since I did not get the same warm welcome which I have previously had."

The team won their initial game at the 2008 World Women's Curling Championship held in Vernon, Canada, but then suffered a string of defeats at which point she was dropped from the team.

Mrs Munro, from Cairnryan Road in Stranraer, maintains she was not asked and did not refuse to return to the team.

She told the court that she only found out about his comments from a publication at the championships.

Mrs Munro said: "To my absolute horror there I was on the front page eating a poke of chips with the allegation that I had refused to play for my country."

She claims she demanded Mr Brown issue a retraction, but was unable to comment on the allegations at the time due to a players' agreement banning her from speaking out.

When questioned about whether team coach Rhona Martin had asked her to return in a meeting the following night Mrs Munro replied: “Absolutely not.”

The case being heard before Lord Doherty continues.

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