St Kitts/Nevis' Williams sent home

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St. Kitts & Nevis sprinter Tameka Williams has been sent home from the London Olympics by her team for a potential drug violation.

Williams had been using a substance which was "clearly oyesteron Sunday.

Knight said Williams had not tested positive, but the team acted after consulting with the World Anti-Doping Agency "to find out about the product."

"In discussions with our team management, she volunteered to them that she had been using a particular substance which, when we did our own investigations, we considered to be outside the accepted medical code," Knight said.

Williams told team officials about using the substance — which the team has not disclosed — in a pre-Olympics training camp.

"It was a matter of the management of the team doing their due diligence," Knight said.

The 22-year-old Williams had qualified for the 100 and 200 metres, and gave samples for anti-doping tests at national Olympic trials last month.

"It was not based on any positive drug test. She turned up a clean test," Knight said.

Williams marched at the Olympic opening ceremony on Friday as the only woman in a seven-member team from the Caribbean islands, who are all track sprinters. The best known is five-time Olympian Kim Collins.

Knight said St Kitts team officials sought expert advice in London before acting.

"We wanted to consult with the anti-doping fraternity," he said. "We are a very tiny country with limited knowledge of these things."

Caribbean tourney serves off

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BOTH Trinidad and Tobago teams will be in action when the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association (CASOVA) Youth Championships serves off today at Eastern Regional Sports Arena, Tacarigua.
The boys will be up first when they tackle the United States at 4 p.m. and the girls will oppose Bahamas two hours later in the final game of a triple header.
The tournament will serve off at 2 p.m. with the boys teams of Barbados and Jamaica squaring off.
Players from five countries will be competing until Sunday, but Jamaica and the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) did not send female teams, leaving Bahamas, Barbados and hosts T&T to fight for the title.
The tournament for Under-18 girls has only been contested twice and T&T captured the gold medal both times--at home in 2007 and last year in St Croix.
T&T’s Under-19 boys finished fourth last year after picking up bronze medals in the previous two editions.
They will face Jamaica at 6 p.m. tomorrow and conclude their round-robin campaign at 4 p.m. on Saturday against defending champs USVI.
T&T’s girls will have the day off tomorrow and oppose Barbados in the final round-robin match on Saturday.
The boys’ final is scheduled for 4 p.m. Sunday, two hours before the girls’.
Reann Young is at the helm of the girls’ team, while Marlon Phillip, who competed in the regional qualifying for the Youth Olympic Games and still has a chance to qualify for Nanjing, China, in August, is the boys’ captain.
National player Sean Morrison is in charge of the boys, while the girls’ coach is veteran Macsood Ali.


For the love of sport - Things that Matters column

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There is a cadre of hardworking people who put their heart and soul into the development of young people through sport every single day of life. They do it purely for the love of sport. They are living their passion. These volunteers are not always sure the decision makers and those with access to the resources appreciate their tireless and unwavering efforts and sincerity. All these tireless soldiers want is a simple acknowledgement—a thank you but instead they feel unwanted and disrespected. National sport organisations (NSOs) cannot afford to be disconnected from the cadre of volunteers who make a positive difference on a daily basis. The sport infrastructure will collapse without volunteers. The power of sport to effect change is most evident at the grassroots level where people come together to explore the use of sport as a catalyst for social change. Over the years sport has shown that it can have a positive impact.

Encouraging those who contribute to keep doing so is not as challenging as some may make it out to be. All that is required is respect for the commitment, dedication and passion of those who give to sport out of an abundance of love. The simple belief that sport can make a positive difference and that together we can achieve remarkable things is the motivation for hundreds of volunteers. That the issues may be more complex in no way diminishes their contribution. As Mark Twain once said; “great people are those who make others feel that they too can become great. “How many lives have the tireless and unwavering foot soldiers—the volunteers changed for the better? On any given day look around the playing fields and empty spaces and you will see someone dedicated to using sport to make a positive difference. These individuals use sport to communicate simple life values and to motivate and inspire youths from different backgrounds. Some do so individually while others are very involved in sport and community clubs. As we come to the end of 2013 here in T&T, December is not usually the most active-sporting wise.

It’s an appropriate period to take a step back and reflect. Sport locally and globally is at a cross roads. A lot of change is coming. To keep pace both the TTOC and NSOs have to innovate and evolve if they want to engage young people in sport as active participants. The same can be said about the IOC. Another challenge is finding the delicate balance between working with government while maintaining a necessary level of independence and autonomy. No challenge is big enough. How do we advocate the positive values that sport can instil in young people and protect the integrity of sport?  How can NSOs and the TTOC promote positive messages about sport and its character building potential, integrity and honesty given the powerful temptations facing almost everyone involved in sport?  How can NSOs build equity and value in their brands and assets? By responding to the contemporary realities none of the challenges are insurmountable on the contrary there are opportunities aplenty for those sport organisations that can market themselves differently, more effectively and creatively.  It requires creative destruction—a reinvention and a transformation while at the same time remaining true to the core values, and acknowledging the role of the volunteers in an era of professionalisation. The potential is enormous for those NSOs who are willing to push the envelope and redefine how they act, think and behave. The future is bright indeed. Sport matters, integrity matters, people matter and the youth matter.


Indians upset by mystery woman marching alongside them in Opening Ceremony

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India have complained to London 2012 over an apparent security lapse during the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics last night when an unidentified woman walked alongside flag-bearer Sushil Kumar during the athletes' parade.

The young woman, dressed in a red shirt and blue trousers, marched next to the weightlifter, a bronze medallist at Beijing four years ago, despite having no visible accreditation.

India's Chef de Mission P K Muralidharan Raja has now complained to London 2012 about the incident which has become the main talking point in India about the much-praised Opening Ceremony.

"She had no business to walk in with the Indian contingent and we are taking up the issue with the organisers," he said.

"We don't know who she is and why she was allowed to walk in.

"It is a shame that she was with the athletes in the march past.

"We were initially told that she would accompany the contingent till the track but she went on to take the entire lap.

"There was another man also but he stayed back and did not enter the Stadium.

"We have taken strong exception to this.

"The march past is for the athletes and officials attached to the contingent.

"We are totally taken by surprise how a person could just intrude into the track."

A total of 40 Indian athletes and 11 officials dressed in traditional blazers and Rajasthani yellow turbans or yellow sarees marched in the Opening Ceremony, earning one of the biggest cheers of the evening.

"The Indian contingent was shown for hardly ten seconds in the television coverage and the entire focus sadly was on this lady, instead of the athletes," said Raja.

It is a major issue for Raja to take over having only been promoted to the role of Chef de Mission on the eve of the Opening Ceremony after Ajitpal Singh, the original choice, was unable to travel here due to a serious back problem.

By Duncan Mackay at the Main Press Centre in the Olympic Park in London


London Olympics 2012, here we are

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Is it the tension which precedes the entry to our Olympic challenge, or are you mesmerised by the spectacular dressings of that great city called London where the Bridge, The Palace, the river Thames, and the bustling old-fashioned taxis which mix with buses, trains, subway and overhead, all fitting snugly into space that often appear insufficient on a normal day. And while the athletes from almost every country (204) in the world have presented an enthusiastic, scintillating and colourful entry into the Olympic stadium, the fans of every sporting discipline will be present to ensure that Olympic history in brought to life four years after Beijing 2008. In open bars, around the parks of central London, Hyde Park, St James Park, the so called soap box Parliament at Hyde Park Corner, human voices using various languages, each representing a nation with obvious dialect, come together to create an atmosphere reminiscent of a carnival without bacchanal, surrounded by an unassuming, but alert police presence. With the brilliant start which saw a brazilian dominace on the football field, where flair and creativity mesmerised the Cameroun Women and the following day, the pain of the Egyptian politics was not spared by the men’s version of football’s ingenuity when the enthusiastic Egyptians chased around a plush field for forty-five minutes in search of a ball that seemed harder for them to find than a needle in a haystack.
The resilience of the Mubarak stained country’s youth showed their fight and surprised south Americans with speed and lethal finishing which led us to believe that the commitment to the sport has surpassed the turmoil of the past year in Cairo. The enjoyment gained from such an exercise was enough for the fans to take a deep breath on the opening day and await more excitement in the days to come. Ironically enough, the chosen Olympic City is clustered with international Cricket, super exciting football from various parts of the world live on TV with teams like Manchester United, Chelsea, AC Milan, Manchester city and many other world Class teams. It appears contrary to what the British was trying to market and one day the financial statistics may reveal the details of the end result. Then there is the constant hum coming from the Jamaicans and fans as to which of their world Class sprinters will earn the gold medals in the sprints. All interpretations echoed different formulas as to Bolt’s fitness. Some claimed that he is now fit and ready to take on all comers, including Yohan Blake, and will keep his success trail as he did between London and Beijing. But, hold a minute! The people friendly triple Gold medallist of the Beijing Olympics, may well be jolted over the new of his close friend and schoolmate will not make the trip to London because of a charge of double murder which has been laid against him recently. If the reports are true about the closeness of these two individuals are correct, Usain may have a serious bug to remove from his mental frame.
Others silently saw his recent withdrawal from what would have been his final preparation before the start of his Olympic Gold chase as a significant piece of evidence that all is still not well and may be just hoping to devise a method of pacing himself from the first round to the final. Possible, but we all have to wait and see. Our women athletes keep sending us some positive messages, not only in Cardiff last week, but for the past three months, and it will be unwise to ignore them. Their opponents are concerned over the recent improvement of Kerry Ann Baptiste , Cleopatra Borell and others, because of the times and distances which are alongside their names at every event. The men’s optimism should not be underestimated although statistics do not quite reflect any level of exuberance other patriotism. The build leading up to the present time, exposes keston bledman and Ronerl Sorillo as the ones leading towards a well judged peaktime, while we all have to await the arrival of the Richard Thompson when he leaves his final technical training before arriving in London. Trinis who have made the trip to provide patriotic support for the Red/white. And black of T&T will hope to erupt and bring London to a liveliness which only exists at Nottinghill carnival.
A Few whispers are about our young and exciting sailor Andrew Lewis, our cycling medal contender Njisane Phillips , together our marksman Roger Daniel. The twin Island state has much to which we can look forward. The atmosphere is electrifying in the Land that was once associated with us. We treasured their guidance then, and we even offered our Olympic gem of that era McDonald Bailey to them. His success was our way of showing the extra ordinary talent of our people. Today, there are many ageing athletes of yesteryear from this blessed country who are eagerly awaiting those who will add to the medal cabinet. Oh, how will Lennox Kilgour, Rodney Wilkes, Wendell Mottley, Edwain Roberts, Kent Bernard, Ed Skinner, ( who is actually present in London), our Olympic Gold medallist Hasely Crawford , and Ato Boldon feel  if Richard Thompson can inspire the group of contenders to another glorious moment to make this a wonderful gift to celebrate our fiftieth Anniversary of Independence. And if, like myself, you will be there to show support and allegiance to our country, our own Caribbean Airlines is ready to take you safely to the destination.
-Alvin Corneal