The Jamaica Olympic Association has issued a statement as the saga involving Jamaica’s track and field athletes participation at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham England deepens.
This with the door closing on the possibility that there will be no Jamaican athletes taking the track when track and field gets underway on August 2.
The issue surrounding travel arrangements for the team sees the JOA in the statement indicating that from time immemorial travel grants in relation to athletes and officials have been instituted by owners of regional and international games and this has not changed and all parties are aware of this fact……adding that last year in relation to the Tokyo Olympic Games, travel agencies were identified with which member associations were advised to interface in making travel arrangements for their athletes and officials.
The JAAA’s compiled and consulted a travel agency and made appropriate arrangements on behalf of their athletes and officials with the agency which is the said agency that is handling arrangements for the JAAA’s for the Commonwealth Games.
The JOA statement today makes reference to comments from JAAA’S official Ludlow Watt who is handling arrangements for the JAAA’S for the Commonwealth Games.
It outlines that Mr Watts understands that the travel grant is a fixed sum and as obtained in relation to the Tokyo Olympic, is aware that travel arrangements should be made efficiently by his association to avoid increased costs.
The JOA statement also reference that Watts fails to mention that the JAAA’S adhered to the policy with respect to the Tokyo games and gives the impression that the JOA has the responsibility of dealing directly with member athletes of his governing body whose itineraries and attendant obligations are more known to the JAAA’S as . Based on the previous course of dealing respecting the Tokyo Olympic games to which the JAAA’S adhered, the impression given is misconceived.
The two page statement from the JOA also adds that what is clearly of concern to watts as keeper of the JAAA’S association’s treasury, is the risk of increased travel costs consequent upon the delay committed by his association in failing to provide a definitive list of athletes and officials with settled itineraries coupled with its continual reworking of lists of athletes and officials in a vain attempt to comply with the regulations of the Commonwealth Games Federation regarding quotas.
In the meantime members of the boxing and weightlifting teams are traveling to the Commonwealth games today, while the swimming team is scheduled to depart early next week.
The Sunshine girls traveled yesterday and members of the Paralympic team departed earlier this week and are already in Birmingham.