National Association of Athletics Administrations of Trinidad and Tobago

media_artricles :: 2017


Thompson hits out at new elite athlete process

Newsday :: 01.02.2017

MULTIPLE Olympic medallist Richard Thompson took to Facebook for the second time in a week, this time addressing funding issues for national athletes and claiming the Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Darryl Smith is not addressing the athletes' concerns.

Thompson stated that an anonymous source at the Ministry of Sport said the Trinidad and Tobago athletes were not compliant with the format for receiving funding.

Thompson explained that the national athletes are using the same procedure as they have done in the past. Thompson posted on Facebook, "To begin with, the method in which we submitted our information to receive funding to prepare for 2016 was no different to the past EIGHT years. People like Kelly-Ann Baptiste, Emmanuel Callender, Keston Bledman, Marc Burns, as well as members of the 4x400m London Olympics Bronze medal team have all followed the precedented procedure.

"I understand that based on questionable actions (unrelated to the athletes) from previous administrations, that this current administration has to avoid a recurrence of such issues.

However, in order for there to be a smooth transition, and fair overlap for the athletes, a certain level of discretion and common sense has to be exercised." The TT sprinter continued: "In order to be reimbursed the money spent to prepare for the 2016 season, we are being asked to present receipts from two years ago (2014-15). Had this been the procedure that we followed for close to a decade, or had there been some sort of indication that physical receipts were going to be demanded, we would have kept them and gladly turned them in." Thompson noted he has been trying to meet the Sports Minister to discuss the problems athletes have been having but to no avail.

"In November I messaged the Minister via WhatsApp with a humble request to come to the office to have a conversation about these same issues.

"No reply! (Of which I have proof). Mind you, this is the day after I was asked to accompany him at the track for a media release.

"Pictures, hand shakes, the usual politicking...then Casper came into effect." On Thursday Thompson made a passionate plea to the Government to not forget its promises made last year that the 2012 4x100 men's Olympic silver medallists would be retroactively rewarded after their medals were upgraded from bronze following the disqualification of USA.



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