An official review has confirmed a human error was behind the embarrassing administration gaffe which saw Olympic gold medallist Valerie Adams left off the start sheet for the shotput in London last month.
Adams and 1500m runner Lucy Van Dalen's names were both left off their respective competition start-lists, before the situation was rectified and new start-lists were issued.
Athletics New Zealand manager Raylene Bates was publicly named as the person responsible for the error at the time and the review - conducted in consultation with Adams and her management, High Performance Sport New Zealand, Athletics New Zealand and Sport New Zealand - backed that up.
"It was confirmed that a highly uncharacteristic human error caused the names to be left off the start list and provided the athletes involved with unnecessary stress ahead of competition," a statement issued by the NZOC said today.
Mike Stanley, president of the New Zealand Olympic Committee, says the review process was important.
"While the cause of the error was both highly uncharacteristic human error, it was important to look for any improvements that could prevent this happening in the future," he said.
"We apologise to both Lucy and Valerie for the unnecessary stress caused. We want our systems to be watertight and will make changes to help achieve this."
In benchmarking New Zealand's entry confirmation processes against those of the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, Switzerland and Denmark, it was discovered that each, like New Zealand, follows a process where a single person is responsible for submitting the final entry confirmation.
In spite of this, the New Zealand Olympic Committee will ensure all future entry confirmations are checked by a second designated official. Additional resources will be provided to support team managers in this process as well as in all dealings with the International Federations and IOC during the Olympic Games.
The New Zealand Olympic Committee has also been in contact with the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) and has requested changes to the confirmation of entry process. The New Zealand Olympic Committee believes the current process could be improved and the risk of errors reduced.
The IAAF has advised the New Zealand Olympic Committee it will review its processes accordingly.