JAAA boss clears the air - Sprinter Simone Facey was not selected for 100m
With travel arrangement issues resulting in at least two athletes to renege on their commitment to represent the country at the two major senior track and field events this year, president of the Jamaica Administrative Athletics Association, Dr Warren Blake, has moved to dispel the notion that the association does not take care of its athletes.
Omar McLeod, the Olympic 110m champion, withdrew from the IAAF World Indoor Championship team days before the team departed for the championships in Birmingham, United Kingdom in March. It was revealed by his agent that it was the non-issuance of a requested visa letter from the JAAA which caused the athlete to withdraw from the team.
Last week, Simone Facey, who was selected to represent the country at the Commonwealth Games which is under way in the Gold Coast in Australia, revealed on social media her withdrawal from the team. It has been reported that she was unhappy with her travelling arrangements.
According to Facey there was also some confusion about whether she was down to run the 100 or 200 metres.
"I have heard that it's the JAAA's fault but we in the JAAA we don't book tickets for the Commonwealth Games. It is not a games that we are in control of. We select the team and hand it over to the Jamaica Olympic Association and they do the travel arrangements," Dr Blake said.
Dr Blake also refuted the claim that it was communicated to Facey that she would run the 100m.
"She wasn't down to run the 100m. Nobody informed her that she would run the 100m. She wanted to run the 100m but she was not chosen for that event," Blake said. "Nobody can communicate to any athlete where they will be running before the selection committee has met and selected the athletes and there is only one communication which goes to the athlete. So for her to give the impression that she was selected for this, and thought she was going to run that, is just wrong."
Dr Blake said the JAAA's track record will show that it takes care of its athletes.
"We do take care of our athletes. Any meet that the travelling arrangements is controlled by the JAAA we do not have any issues," Blake pointed out.
Jamaica's track and field athletes will bow into action at the Commonwealth Games on April 8 with the preliminary round of the 100 metres for men and women.