NAAA not happy with response to athlete withdrawals
The National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) has issued a press release, expressing “deep concern” over comments in the media in response to the withdrawal of two Trinidad and Tobago athletes from the World Championships, in Moscow, Russia.
The release, headlined “In support of fairplay”, was issued by NAAA secretary Allan Baboolal.
Here is the full release:
“National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) notes with deep concern comments being made in the media with respect to sensitive matters relating to allegations of the use of prohibited substances by two of our country’s top female athletes: Semoy Hackett and Kelly-Ann Baptiste.
“Both the IAAF and WADA have well established procedures for treating with allegations of the use of prohibited substances against athletes and, notwithstanding the unfortunate comments referred to above, NAAA as a responsible organisation has adhered to all the applicable protocols in such matters.
“At present, both athletes have withdrawn from the IAAF World Championships currently underway in Moscow. The Association is awaiting further communication from Kelly-Ann Baptiste and in the case of Semoy Hackett is awaiting a date for the hearing of the appeal of her matter, since it has been referred to the Court of Arbitration in Sport by the IAAF. As such, the Association is not prepared at this time to comment further on both situations.
“NAAA is strongly committed to the sporting ideal of fair play from both the athletes and from those charged with the conduct and administration of the sport. In this regard, the Association is very mindful of its responsibility in ensuring that the sport remain free from cheats, that the rich and proud sporting legacy that has been established over the years is not destroyed and that the country’s well-earned reputation is protected. However, the Association is equally mindful of its role in protecting the interest of its athletes and in ensuring that the principles of natural justice are adhered to when allegations are made.
“We merely ask that commentators adopt a similar approach.”
Meanwhile, NAAA president Ephraim Serrette and manager of the T&T World Championship team Dexter Voisin both refused to comment on the recent call by Minister of Sport Anil Roberts for the NAAA executive committee to resign over the selection of Hackett on the Worlds team.
“Right now I have no comment on it,” Voisin, who is also the NAAA assistant secretary, told the Express, yesterday, “because my focus is on team performance here.”
Serrette is also attending the World Championships.