Steele fails to report to camp, replaced by Chambers
Officials have reportedly been unable to locate or make contact with Edino Steele, a member of Jamaica's 4x400m relay pool, who has failed to report to the team's pre-championships camp in Tottori, Japan, up to yesterday.
This, according to our sources, is the reason behind the late call-up of North American Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Senior Championship 400-metre bronze medal winner Ricardo Chambers, who will now replace Steele, who himself finished fourth at the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA)/Supreme Ventures Limited National Senior Championships several weeks ago and was expected to compete in the 4x400m.
It is understood that the JAAA was forced to add Chambers to the squad after neither officials from the organisation nor Steele's coach, Glen Mills, have been able to touch base with the athlete, who formed a part of Jamaica's silver medal-winning team at the last World Championships in 2013 as well as the team that won bronze at the World Indoor Championships a year later.
Steele last competed in Sweden on July 30.
According to team manager Ludlow Watts, Steele had some passport issues ahead of the start of the camp, but the JAAA has not been able to contact the athlete to determine the status of his documents, and were, as a result, forced to make the decision to replace him in the squad.
"Yes, he (Steele) has been replaced on the team by (Ricardo) Chambers," Watts said. "We were aware that there was a passport issue with him, but we have not been able to determine whether it was resolved or otherwise. We have made several unsuccessful attempts to contact him."
Chambers was surprisingly left off Jamaica's team to the championships even though he is the third fastest Jamaican in the world this year.
Apparently, unaware of the reasons behind his sudden inclusion, he told The Gleaner yesterday morning that he was notified earlier, that he will be joining the team within the coming days.
"I actually got a notice this morning and I am really happy. All I want to do is focus right now on going to represent my country," he said.
He is expected to travel to Jamaica before the end of the weekend to sort out his visa arrangements and then depart to join the team later in Beijing, ahead of the August 22-30 championships.
The mile relay squad already includes Javon Francis, Rusheen McDonald, Peter Matthews, Dane Hyatt and Jonia McDonald.
Chambers' season-best time of 44.93s that was run in the semi-final at the NACAC Championships in Costa Rica ranks him third behind Francis (44.50) and Rusheen McDonald (44.60).
In an earlier interview with The Gleaner, where he then sought to explain Chambers' exclusion, team manager Watts said that under the rules there could simply be no room for Chambers on the team unless there was a withdrawal.
"In the case of (Ricardo) Chambers, there was no scope for him to get in because they already selected six athletes for the 4x400m pool, so he could only have been named to the squad if someone withdrew," Watts explained to The Gleaner on Wednesday.