Fri | May 26, 2017

Devon Dick | JADCO board should resign

Published:Thursday | May 18, 2017 | 5:00 AM

The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission's (JADCO) with-drawal of the appeal against the ruling on cricketer AndrÈ Russell is very strange because it is not based on any legal technicality.

If JADCO withdrew the appeal because it had no merit and took so long to withdraw it, then it would be indicative of gross incompetence and opened the good name of JADCO to being called vindictive. For weeks, Russell would have suffered greatly and unnecessarily. JADCO having the right to appeal should not use it lightly or unadvisedly but thoughtfully, transparently and competently. If there is no merit then the board would have to apologise to Russell.

If the JADCO board withdrew the appeal in spite of the merit of the case and because 'public perception that JADCO is on a witch-hunt' played a big role, then it should resign. This lack of backbone and an unwillingness to do what is right, proper and in the interest of the sport is frightening. It means the board does not have the stomach to take hard, unpopular decisions. The chairman of JADCO admitted that there were sufficient reasons to file an appeal, citing that the disciplinary panel did not state the reason for imposing a one-year ban.

 

LACK OF BACKBONE

 

If the JADCO board cannot stand up to public pressure, how will it handle political interference, private sector affluence and promoters' influence? Perhaps the minutes of the JADCO board meeting could be revisited to ascertain how to handle matters when there is undue pressure. If WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) guidelines were followed, why withdraw? Was no legal opinion sought before deciding to appeal?

Apparently, JADCO appealed the sentence of one year handed down by the anti-doping tribunal on the grounds that the judgment gave no basis for the ruling. In a sense JADCO has a dispute with this tribunal. Why not dismiss this tribunal for not doing a thorough job instead of vacillating by appealing then withdrawing the appeal?

But why should the board of directors of JADCO resign when a former head of Customs was recently convicted of a criminal offence, not a traffic ticket, and has not resigned from being chairman of the advisory board of the Jamaica Customs Agency? Why was he appointed to such position when there was a serious case for him to answer concerning a possible breach of the Contractor General Act? What are the implications of someone who, having received the honour of Order of Jamaica, has been convicted? Can someone who is convicted be a managing director of the fourth estate? Reggae singer George Nooks has not been convicted of a crime but was charged, and sponsors and/or promoters axed him from a show held on Sunday. Jackass seh di worl' nuh level.

Indeed, can a person be a managing director of the Tourism Enhancement Fund while having a loan in arrears with that entity? What does it say about a person who applies for a job as a managing director and does not know that he is responsible for a loan that's in default with the place in which he is seeking the job? Credit unions, which are financial cooperatives, whose main functions are to provide a facility to save and make loans available to members, would not allow members to be elected to serve on any of their committees or boards of directors if such members have defaulted on their loans.

Resignation is difficult because we tend to blame others and do not want to accept responsibility for grievous errors. The point of resignation is to express responsibility for wrongful and illegal action. To hand in one's resignation shows that what happened was very serious and deeply regretted. It means that if there were another opportunity then it would not be done again. Resigning from a post is healthy because it reaffirms rewarding good, punishing wrong and rehabilitating the offender. Resigning is for strong people who admit that the buck stops with them and not waiting to be fired!

It is a sad day when serious blunders and criminal conviction do not lead to resignation or disciplinary actions.

- Rev Devon Dick is pastor of the Boulevard Baptist Church in St Andrew. He is author of 'The Cross and the Machete', and 'Rebellion to Riot'. Send feedback to columns@ gleanerjm.com.