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18
Sun, Aug

- TEAM TTO THRIVE - 

Keith Joseph has circulated a manifesto around the PASO membership here this week ©Twitter

Latest Olympic News

Only one Caribbean candidate is expected to be put forward in the election to select the new President of the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO), insidethegames understands, despite there currently being three contenders from the region.

St Vincent and the Grenadines Olympic Committee general secretary Keith Joseph and Dominican Republic's José Joaquín Puello have already confirmed their intentions.

St Lucia's Richard Peterkin is also "currently planning to stand" but has refrained from formally announcing his candidacy.

A precise date and location for the Ordinary General Assembly at which the election will be held has still to be decided, but a time-frame of between December and February is considered most likely.

Chilean Olympic Committee President Neven Ilic has also entered the race, while Brazilian Olympic Committee and Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman is considered a probable, and strong, contender, but has vowed not to confirm either way until after the Olympic Games.

Beating someone of the calibre of Nuzman would require the Caribbean to present a united front, it is believed, with the region consisting of 20 of the 41 PASO members, although this is a loose grouping of English, Spanish, French and Dutch speaking countries.

Puello, Joseph and Peterkin all met here over breakfast this morning, insidethegames understands, vowing to each continue in the fledgling race for the time being with an eye to uniting behind one contender at a later date.

It is not clear how easy that would prove in practice, however, with uniting the Caribbean traditionally a task that has proven far from easy.

Similar sentiments were expressed at a meeting of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) today.

Both Puello and Peterkin only knew for certain that they were eligible to stand yesterday after the scrapping of a controversial proposed constitutional amendment stipulating that all candidates for the position of President of PASO must have "at least three years of experience immediately preceding their nomination as a President, vice-president or secretary general of their respective NOCs".

The wording "immediately preceding their nomination" was removed, meaning that the duo - both former NOC Presidents - are eligible after all.

Joseph, 63, has already circulated a manifesto this week expressing his full commitment to the post.

The official, born in Trinidad and Tobago and also President of the Grenada Olympic Association before switching allegiances once again, has vowed to radically change and modernise the PASO management structure.

"I believe it is critical that PASO establishes a chief executive officer role at the Secretariat responsible to the PASO Executive Committee, who drives the day-to-day affairs of the organisation under the approved policy framework and the interest of the PASO members," he wrote.

A chief financial officer would also be appointed as part of a sustained marketing drive in order to attract more sponsorship and broadcasting revenue, although the PASO headquarters would remain in Mexico City.

Another interesting idea included in the 15-page leaflet is a promise to introduce a PASO Museum and Archives to "serve the peoples of our continent".

Both Puello and Peterkin also support the introduction of a chief executive and other full-time officials, working to enhance relations with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), as well as improve financing, marketing and governance.

It is thought that a chief executive could either come from within the PASO community or externally from the private sector.

Puello, a 75-year-old neurosurgeon who spent 22 years as Dominican National Olympic Committee President until 2004, has proposed moving the headquarters to Miami, alongside a "lean office" in Santa Domingo.

He has also pledged to make annual audited accounts open to the public.

Peterkin, 67, an IOC member who is also treasurer of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), is advocating a "consensus-style" leadership and is vowing not to make decisions on issues like moving the headquarters at this stage.

"The big issue is communication," said Peterkin, who has vowed to employ outside consultants to help to improve the PASO website and marketing strategy.

Of the other contenders, Ilic has similar aims, including "making PASO more professional, with more staff, a general manager, and a sustained marketing drive".

The 53-year-old has, however, called for a younger generation of leaders to assume control.

He is considered a left-field candidate who could benefit from the Caribbean not settling on a single figure.

Nuzman, seen as close to current PASO leader Julio Maglione, has released few details about his plans and is unsurprisingly currently occupied by preparations for Rio 2016.

He is a perceived as a strong, establishment figure, although there are doubts about his age and health.

Both the IOC and ANOC are seen as neutral in the election so far, although all the contenders have made attempts to speak with the latter body's influentual Kuwaiti leader Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah.

Peterkin is an IOC member, which could play to his advantage, although he has only just over two more years until he reaches the age limit of 70.

Both Ilic and Joseph could conceivably be added as IOC members over upcoming years, with PASO in need of new members and neither Chile nor St Vincent currently having one, but Puello is too old and Nuzman has already graduated to honorary member status.

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