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JAAA drops interest in World Juniors 2016

Published:Tuesday | December 8, 2015 | 12:00 AMLeighton Levy

Jamaica has decided to forego interest in hosting the 2016 IAAF World Junior Championships that was originally set to be hosted in Kazan, Russia. Citing financial constraints imposed on the country by the International Monetary Fund, Jamaica Administrative Athletics Association's (JAAA) president Dr. Warren Blake said yesterday, Jamaica has decided not to submit a bid.

The championships were shifted from the Russian city following an-IAAF imposed ban on that country's athletic federation. In November, an independent committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) led by former president Dick Pound, released a report accusing the Russian Athletic Federation of several infractions including being involved in the state-sponsored doping of its athletes.

Yesterday, Dr. Blake said that despite the initial interest expressed by the JAAA when the opportunity first came up for Jamaica to bid for the championships, it was eventually decided after further deliberation that the country would be unable to afford such an expensive venture.

"It requires in excess of US$10 million (approximately J$1billion). The Government would have to issue a bond to cover that amount and with the IMF constraints it really was a non-starter," said the JAAA president following the announcement of this year's Athlete of the Year candidates at Scotia Centre in downtown Kingston. "It was really a preliminary wish of the association but after further discussions we decided not to put in a bid."

Jamaica last hosted the World Junior Championships in 2002 that was considered to be one of the most successful in the history of the event.

Last month, Blake said he was confident the country would have been able to do a good job hosting the event for what would have been a second time. He said Finland, a country that has more available cash than Jamaica, was also bidding to host the championships. With that in mind Jamaica's best bet was to raise the money needed as quickly as possible.