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."

London, Wright cop THA Chief Secretary awards

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Carifta champions Mark London and Andwuelle Wright were among the winners of the Chief Secretary awards for excellence in Sports for 2013. London won boys under 20 800m and 1500m titles at this year’s Carifta Games in the Bahamas and collected the award for the second year.
The Bishops High School graduate was also a recipient of the award in 2010 when he captured the boys under-17 1500m and 3000m races in the Cayman Islands. The award is the second for London within the month, as he was honoured with the Sport and Wellness Award at the Department of Youths Tobago Youth Awards in November.
Wright picked up his first award after winning back-to-back boys under-17 long jump Carifta titles. The Signal Hill Secondary fifth form student also represented Trinidad and Tobago at the World Youth (under 18) Track and Field Championships in Donetsk, Urkraine in July.
Other sporting personalities recognised were national table tennis stars Jasher De Gannes and Derron Douglas and their coach Dexter Abbott. Also coming in for commendation was young golfer Samuel Cudjoe.
De Gannes was the youngest member of the national senior table tennis team that competed at the Caribbean Championships in St Lucia. The 13-year-old Bishops High School student returned home with a silver medal. Meanwhile, Douglas won the national under-11 singles titles. Cudjoe became the first Tobagonian to win a four-year scholarship to Hank Haney International Golf Academy in the US.
The Awards are held to recognise persons and groups for their contribution to society over the last year in several fields including culture, sports and entrepreneurship. The ceremony took place at the Victor E Bruce Financial Complex last week.

Academics: Shelemiah Peterkin, Dhwane Henry, and Lemuel Phillip
Community Work: Sheriff Tobias
Entrepreneurship: Renesia George
Sports-Derron Douglas, Jasher DeGannes, Samuel Cudjoe, Dexter Abbott, Andiouelle Wright, and Mark London.
Health: Roxanne Moore-Seaforth received an award for Health;
Culture: NCLB Buccooneers.


Sport—cornerstone of Mandela’s success - Things that Matter column

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“Sport has the power to change the world.” The words of Nelson Mandela.

If we all used this iconic international figure’s life journey as an example of how to live and think, T&T sport will take a quantum leap forward. His emphasis on forgiveness, engagement, reconciliation, the importance of unity and harmony the power of a vision, determination an indomitable will, patience and perseverance provide a template that has proven itself in the most trying circumstances.

Many rushing to share the profile and platform occasioned by his passing appear to be at odds with the ethos of the man to whom they are paying tribute.

There are many compelling lessons that we can all learn and aspire to, if we were to use Mandela’s example of authentic leadership.

That he was a great leader there can be no doubt.

Mandela was one leader who didn’t pay lip service to the power of sport nor did he engage in rhetoric or bandwagonism where sport was concerned.

Sport was the cornerstone of his strategy for the unification of black and white South Africa.

His legacy as US President Barack Obama said will endure for the ages. Mandela defied the odds, broke down barriers and championed human rights. He dreamed and pursued the impossible dream. A former heavyweight boxer, Mandela’s love for sport and his understanding of the power of sport was authentic and sincere.

Mandela’s courage didn’t allow him to compromise his principles. In 1985 when President Botha offered Mandela his freedom if he would renounce violence, Mandela’s response was apartheid should be dismantled firstly.

Branded a terrorist. He is reported as telling the US don’t tell him who should be his friends. The exchange coming after Mandela went to Cuba to meet Fidel Castro, Gaza to meet Yasser Arafat and Tripoli to meet Moammar Gadaffi. All three had supported the fight against apartheid.

Mandela inspired anti-apartheid protests here in T&T. Many have either forgotten or don’t know that in T&T early in March 1986 locals protesting against English cricketers who had played against South Africa were arrested and subjected to robust police action.

The images from South Africa’s Rugby World Cup victory in 1995 will never be forgotten as Mandela unified white and black South Africa by appearing in a dark green Springbok jersey with the number 6, the same as the then Springbok captain Francois Pienaar.

It’s an image that resonated beyond rugby. The Springbok badge was a symbol of the divided apartheid South Africa.

Visionary and courageous, Mandela understood that he had to make the Springbok jersey part of the new South Africa.

He faced strong internal dissatisfaction within his own party over his policy of nation-building through sport. His role in the return of a multi-racial South African team to the Olympic Games in Barcelona 1992 cannot be underplayed. It would not have happened if he didn’t sanction it.

Mandela had identified sport as a way of achieving a multi-racial country. He was the first global leader to use sport as a tool to unite people and to redefine a country’s international image.

Mandela’s legacy to sport and the role that sport can play has left political and sport leaders with a powerful example and template. His strength of character and vision to stand up for sport in the face of much criticism from those close to him who didn’t see what he saw is or should be an inspiration to all of us. Sport can be a powerful and positive catalyst.

In closing I extend sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Isidore Smart, Gordon Delph, Emmanuel McDonald Bailey and Michael Als, all men who are worthy examples and role models for the youth of T&T. They made a positive difference to mother T&T during their life journey- Rest in Peace faithful patriots.


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