CI athletes face Olympic ban over CARIFTA cash dispute

| 29/07/2020 | 33 Comments
Cayman News Service
2019 Cayman Islands CARIFTA team

(CNS): The North American Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) has banned the Cayman Islands’ track and field athletes from participating in official competitions, including the Olympic Games, over a dispute relating to cash. The NACAC claims that Cayman’s CARIFTA committee owes several countries money from fees that federation officials overpaid when they came here for last year’s games.

But the local committee, which organised the Games, denies owing the money.

In a letter sent to the members of the Cayman Islands Athletic Association (CIAA) on Friday, Lance Barnes the association’s president, said the sanction was in relation to refunds to regional federations that should have been made by the local organising committee (LOC) for the April 2019 CARIFTA Games held in Cayman.

Barnes said that some added charges contravened NACAC standing policy but the affected federations had not been refunded. As a result, local athletes were being prevented from competing in any NACAC and World Athletics event, including the Olympic Games.

But the members of the LOC issued a statement Tuesday denying that they owed any money and setting out the terms and conditions of the deals and agreements made relating to the Games and the fees paid by local officials to cover accommodation.

“We unequivocally reject that any such reimbursement is owed by the LOC and we stand firmly behind our decision to consider the claim as invalid, prioritising our fiduciary obligation to safeguard the funding that was entrusted to us by the Cayman Islands Government and other sponsors of the 2019 CARIFTA Games,” the members stated.

In the two page statement the six members of the committee said they became aware of concerns surrounding the fees and allegations that they had breached policy over accommodation costs for extra officials following the meeting of the NACAC congress held on 22nd April 2019.

But the LOC has since reviewed the documents relating to the Games and found no such policy, discovering it was merely tradition that extra officials did not have to pay fees. The LOC was asked to absorb the costs but it denied the request.

The committee members, Jacqueline Haynes, Darrel Rankine, Osbert Francism Scimone Campbell, Evelyn Rockett and Collin Anglin, said the fees were agreed in the Games MOUs and it was unreasonable at this late stage for NACAC to enforce a policy which did not exist.

The LOC members said they told the sports minister about their decision and the rationale, and they did not receive a direction to pay back the money.

“The LOC was created with the primary objective of executing a quality Games. All members of the LOC vowed to do just that, utilizing the highest standards of professionalism, governance and financial integrity. Our challenge to the Reimbursement Levy was in keeping with those principles. Despite the many challenges faced, we believe we delivered on all we were tasked to do,” they stated.

The LOC also said while it has been accused of causing the sanctions against our local athletes, they had not received any direct communication outlining any alleged wrongdoing from the NACAC or the CIAA.

The LOC members said they had become aware of the situation through the local media here as a result of Barnes’ letter.

“On that basis we are not in a position to comment on the accuracy of the details in the public domain including the grounds for the sanction,” the six member LOC stated. “It is unfortunate that what was an otherwise extraordinary event has been marred by the current state of affairs.

“It’s even more disheartening that its greatest impact has been directed at our athletes. We are at pains to understand the grounds behind the sanctions or how they could be deemed proportionate to the accusations being levied and why they are not being challenged by the local body responsible for protecting local athletes,” they added.

See the CIAA letter and the LOC response in the CNS Library

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Category: Local News

Comments (33)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh, surely our Sports Minister has now resigned in disgrace? What?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Pay the darn money and stop being self righteous.

  3. A. Allan Bush says:

    Why is this even a story… Many of these athletes have trained hard for 4 years and because of a clerical error WE deny them their moment in the sun…. I am ASHAMED our youth is EVERYTHING worth investing in…

    • Anonymous says:

      Even after all their hard work they were deemed unworthy because of who they represent. Caymanians. Your reputation precedes you in everything you do with the outside world. Corrupt, greedy, or just incompetent. With Juju in charge of edumacation Caymanians will stay in their rightful place in the world. The bottom.

    • Anonymous says:

      LOC if you haven’t spent the money ( 😟) payt it back nah. If ya spent it go borrow it and pay it. Back. Each member is responsible the burden shouldn’t be that heavy after all you are all blingers aren’t you.

  4. Anonymous says:

    There is obviously more to this story. How do you get banned without any kind of hearing?

    • A past member of the CIAA says:

      “ But the LOC has since reviewed the documents relating to the Games and found no such policy, discovering it was merely tradition that extra officials did not have to pay fees. The LOC was asked to absorb the costs but it denied the request.”

      The above statement of the LOC in itself is damaging to its purporyed cause of good stewardship. If this practice and/ or tradition has been in place for a while shouldn’t any change there to be mutually agreed beforehand. I find that the cavalier attitude displayed in this statement and the action taken is non arguably not in the best interest of athletic leadership and the sport in this country and indeed it is quite unprofessional not to say the least damaging to our reputation and the ability to compete by our athletes.

      LOC think of the greater good here and acknowledge your error in judgment and make the refund with haste.

    • Anonymous says:

      When the evidence to all is overwhelming. That is your answer 11:02.

    • Anonymous says:

      By being incompetent.

    • Gillie Jessie says:

      They have not been banned our Federation is not in Good Standing with their governing body because these funds have not been repaid so our athletes cannot participate in sanctioned events. This is normal protocol throughout most Federations. We shouldn’t try to shift the blame if the funds had been returned there wouldn’t be an issue. Heads should roll for this corrupt looking blunder.

  5. Dave says:

    The Minister responsible for this fiasco was too busy spewing her vitriol towards the LGBT community.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Take all you can. Give nothing back.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Reputation is everything. Cayman Islands Everyone knows.

  8. Anon says:

    Dear CNS

    You are missing a committee member. Ms. Ventisha Connolly from the Brac is a member. She is also the PA to Hon. Moses I Kirkonell, Deputy Premier.

    CNS: Ventisha was at one time on the committee but she is not a signator on the LOC statement.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Good job everyone. The embarrassment keeps growing for this country and yet we still can’t stop talking about how great it is here. Wake up. Get up to speed and catch up with the world before it leaves us behind and laughs in the rear view mirror.

    • Anonymous says:

      Too late. Thankfully Caymanians only think of themselves so they will not be bothered by what anyone else thinks about them. True ignorance is true bliss. Karma will soon come.

      • Anonymous says:

        9.35am Our problem is we try to help everyone not that we only think of ourselces. However this makes all the other countries think we’re a cash cow as the LOC pointed out. Everyone expects Cayman to pay for everything. If extra officials want to a company teams they need to pay not us.

        • Anonymous says:

          Nobody here tries to help everyone. Please give it a rest. Caymankind is an illusion and a nice bedtime story we tell our kids so we can pay ourselves on the back and say what a good job we did.

          This country is full of bigots, xenophobic fools, racists and self servicing people. How do you think a very small handful of Caymanian families managed to accumulate such massive amounts of wealth and power while the vast majority of the others live in poverty?

        • Anonymous says:

          Thats BS. Go to any Caymanian as an expat and your quote for services is usually upped by 15%

  10. Anonymous says:

    Jeff Webb’s revenge?? Wow he seems to have some pull with US officials! Constantly delaying his sentencing etc…….. yet some people fear a US Democratic Government coming after us??

    NACAC may not be a US Government organization (I don’t know) but Trump’s bullying reach is far and wide. If he can bully NATO for money why can’t he shakedown the Caymans?

  11. Derei Ibotson says:

    Sports, money? Yawn…..

  12. Anonymous says:

    Who is the Minister of Sport again?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Best country in the world.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Just when we’re trying to recover from the sermon about the Moon from Reverent John John (#$500) … Sighhhh

    Here we go. Another scandal. BANNED FROM THE OLYMPICS.

    Someone decided they had to be right on principle but suck at ethics. #caymanproblems

  15. Anonymous says:

    So Lance all these countries are liars??? Christ we banned from the Olmypics??? No body trust us because of Jeff Webbbbbbbbbb!!

    Pay them! This is embarrasing!

  16. Anonymous says:

    So two wildcards then?

  17. Anon says:

    It seems strange that such drastic action was taken by the NACAC without them notifying the CIAA in advance that funds were owed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Perhaps CIAA were notified but never bothered to officially respond. Ever think of that?

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe there was a hint of sarcasm in the original post, at least thats how I read it.

        • Anon says:

          9.39am Thank you for reading my comment the right way, I was alluding to to it being highly likely that the CIAA was notified.7.10am is struggling to read between the lines.

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