Francis fuming after JAAA's Carter mix-up
MVP Track Club's head coach Stephen Francis was again left fuming after confirmation arrived that Nesta Carter's entry as a replacement for the injured Kemar Bailey-Cole in the 100m at the World Championships was rejected by the IAAF because of an administrative error by the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA).
Team manager and JAAA treasurer Ludlow Watts defended the process, but Francis, who, just a few days ago, questioned the competence of the management team, was again on the attack, accusing the JAAA of nepotism, and called for greater accountability and professionalism.
The JAAA were told by the IAAF's chief technical delegate that their request to add Carter as a replacement for Bailey-Cole, who suffered an injury on the team's training camp in Tottori, Japan, could not be facilitated because the JAAA had not properly registered Carter as a reserve.
"He (Carter) is definitely out because the entries closed on August 10. After August 10, there can be no additions to the entries. The problem is that the JAAA - I don't know if it's Mr (Garth) Gayle, the general secretary, or Mr (Ludlow) Watts, the treasurer; whoever did the entry form made a horrible mess of the entry form," said Francis.
"Normally, for every event you are allowed four entries. On the day before the competition, you have to then declare which three of the four will run. That's the typical procedure for all championships," Francis continued. "If somebody has a wild card then you are allowed a fifth entry, who is the wild card person. So it is standard, you enter the four people so long as you have all four qualified; it's something that we know from 'Champs' days."
The coach questioned whether those placed in charge of the team were simply there for their ties to the JAAA rather than their competence. He demanded that stiff action be taken against those responsible for the mess-up.
"The problem is that those people are not supposed to be doing the entries. The entry is a technical form which should be passed to the technical people. Somebody is supposed to be double-checking, and we still have the same thing," he added. "The practice of the JAAA of the nepotism and only using the members of their executive and so on to manage these teams is rubbish and needs to stop. There are a lot of persons outside the JAAA hierarchy who we can call on to manage and ensure our athletics is right."
"Furthermore, there is no accountability, there is none! Those responsible should be on a plane on their way home. On top of the pile of errors that have already been made, including the 16-hour travel from Tottori and the lack of hotel rooms on the first night, those people should be immediately sent back to Jamaica!" Francis blasted.
Meanwhile, Watts, who had told The Gleaner that an appeal was filed, maintained that he felt there was no reason to bar the entry of the athlete, contending that they had followed the regular process.
"As customary, we would have used anybody from the pool to run the 100m if there is an injury, and in the past that has been the case," said Watts. "So we have done nothing differently from what obtained in the past."
"What has maintained in the past is once an athlete is entered on the Jamaica team, that athlete is capable to compete once he meets the qualifying standard. We have an injured athlete who got his injury after the deadline on August 10. We chose to use the next in line, Nesta (Carter) to compete in the 100m.
They said they would have to discuss it with the chief technical delegate. They came back a day later and said it could not be done," Watts said.