The goal of two or more team sports qualifying for Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games requires two fundamental elements (1) national sport organizations must share the TTOC's vision of Olympic qualification- qualifying for the Olympics must be as important to the national sport organization as it is for the TTOC (2) National sport organizations must have a  High Performance plan that is based on best practices .

In reviewing the performances of the national team sports at the recent Central America and Caribbean (CAC) Games held in Vera Cruz, Mexico 14-30 November.

Only two team sports out of 9 won medals.

Men's Hockey returned home with the  silver medal and men's rugby 7s  bronze medal.

Rio Olympic Games qualification in most team sports would be determined in 2015.

The TTOC made it clear that team sports who medalled at the CAC Games would be shortlisted  for resource assistance in 2015 with the stated objective of qualifying for Rio 2016 Olympics.

The TTOC General Council will meet at 5pm  Monday 8th December at Olympic House.

Main item on the agenda is the CAC Games Vera Cruz 2014  report.

As many as 99% of Russian athletes are guilty of doping, a German TV documentary has alleged.

The programme claims that Russian officials systematically accepted payment from athletes to supply banned substances and cover up tests.

The documentary, shown by Das Erste, also implicates the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in covering up the abuse.

The Russian Athletics Federation (RAF) says the allegations are "lies".

However, both the IAAF and the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) have said they will look into the claims.

The IAAF said it had "noted a number of grave allegations" and revealed that an investigation into some of the claims was "already ongoing".

The BBC has not independently verified the documentary's allegations and is awaiting responses from athletes targeted in the programme.

In the documentary, broadcast on Wednesday, former discus thrower Yevgeniya Pecherina claimed that "most, the majority, 99%" of athletes selected to represent Russia use banned substances.

"You can get absolutely everything," added the 25-year-old Russian. "Everything the athlete wants."

Pecherina is currently serving a 10-year doping ban that is due to end in 2023. She had already been handed a two-year suspension in 2011.

Liliya Shobukhova, who won the London Marathon in 2010, is also interviewed in the programme and admits paying the Russian Athletics Federation 450,000 euros (£350,000) to cover up a positive doping test.

She is currently serving a two-year ban after irregularities were detected in her biological passport.

The claims of widespread wrongdoing stem principally from former Russian Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada) official Vitaly Stepanov and his wife Yulia (nee Rusanova), formerly an 800m runner who was banned for doping.

They allege that leading Russian athletics officials supplied banned substances in exchange for 5% of an athlete's earnings and colluded with doping control officers to hush up and falsify tests.

Yulia Stepanova said it was also common for Russian athletes to avoid out-of-competition testing by using false names while training abroad.

Wada said that the claims would be "carefully scrutinised", adding that it had "already received some information and evidence of the type exposed in the documentary".

It added it had passed the information on to be investigated by "the appropriate independent body" within the IAAF.

A Wada statement concluded: "If action is warranted, Wada will take any necessary and appropriate steps under the code."

According to some reports, the RAF will hold an emergency meeting later on Thursday, but RAF president Valentin Balakhnichev told news agency Reuters that the documentary's allegations were "a pack of lies".

Rusada managing director Nikita Kamaev added: "We believe that the speculation and the statements are completely unfounded."

But International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams told the Associated Press: "These are serious allegations. Should there be anything affecting the IOC and our code of ethics, we will not hesitate to take any and all action necessary."

Russia, which hosted the Winter Olympics in Sochi earlier this year and finished top of the medal table, currently has 67 athletes serving sanctions for doping offences, according to the latest IAAF report.

In September, Wada banned the gas xenon following allegations, in another German TV documentary, it had been used as a performance-enhancing substance by Russian competitors at Sochi.

Rusada has said it has a rigorous testing system and conducts around 20,000 tests per year.

Last year, there were calls to boycott the World Athletics Championships in Russia because of links to doping.

The documentary also included an undercover video purporting to show 800m runner Mariya Savinova, who won gold at the 2012 Olympics in London, admitting to using the banned steroid oxandrolone.

The video was dubbed into German with the original audio track absent, but the channel said it possessed an unedited version.

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There is a "determination" within the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to deal with the allegations of systematic doping among Russian athletes, it was claimed here today.

But "due process" must be followed, critics calling for action be taken against Russia were warned.

A German television documentary broadcast on Wednesday (December 3) made a number of allegations that Russian officials systematically accepted payment from athletes to supply banned substances and cover up tests.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has responded by promising to investigate the claims, along with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), who had already referred a number of the allegations to its independent Ethics Commission.

Sir Craig Reedie, the chairman of WADA and a member of the IOC's ruling Executive Board, updated his colleagues today on the situation.

"It won't surprise you to know the allegations were, of course, discussed by the Executive Board," Mark Adams, the IOC communications director, said.

"There was a determination to deal with them and deal with them quickly.

"Sir Craig Reedie made a short presentation to the Executive Board.

"He has been in touch with the IAAF Ethics Commission and has given them the information they need, and we will keep in touch as well.

"If the allegations are proved, we will deal with them, but we have to deal with them in the proper way.

"There has to be due process.

"So let's wait and see what the Commission of the IAAF thinks of them before we take the next step."

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has dismissed the allegations made in the 60 minute programme broadcast by ARD as being aimed at humiliating Russian sport.

"Based on some individual case, they want to show some kind of system and the state's interest in it, to belittle Russian sport," Mutko told R-Sport news agency.

"Of course I don't like this, because we have taken a journey in the opposite direction."

Russia's anti-doping agency RUSADA managing director Nikita Kamaev, who originally dismissed the claims as "nothing more than wanton speculation", has now promised they will launch their own inquiry.

"RUSADA is starting its own investigation in relation to those involved in the film and the information presented by them," they said in a statement published today.

They promised the outcome of the investigation will be published on their website.

In the programme, ARD appeared to show reigning Olympic 800 metres champion Maria Savinova admitting to using the banned steroid oxandrolone.

They also produced evidence that alleged to show three-time Chicago Marathon and one-time London Marathon winner Liliya Shobukhova paid €450,000 (£350,000/$550,000) to avoid a doping ban.

Shobukhova was eventually banned for doping and she claimed some of the money was refunded.

Sebastian Coe, meanwhile, who last month officially announced he is to stand for the Presidency of the IAAF has issued his own statement on the allegations.

"There are clearly very serious allegations and I understand that they are now rightly subject to investigation by the IAAF, WADA and the IAAF Ethics Commission," he said.

"It would be inappropriate to comment further until those investigations have been completed."

Among those implicated in the programme was Valentin Balakhnichev, President of the Russian Athletics Federation and treasurer of the IAAF.

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At the closing Ceremony of the XXII CAC Games in Veracruz on Sunday 30 November 2014, Nolan Tash of Volleyball was the flag bearer for Trinidad and Tobago. The Games opened on the 14th November with Dexter St Louis veteran of 5 CAC Games bearing the flag.

 

The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee continues its focus on our athletes. The theme for this Game was honoring our Athletes and especially the ones who have been long serving members of the National Teams. Athletes who have dedicated the past 20 years, wearing the Red White and Black

 

Nolan Tash and Dexter St Louis are two athletes, who have won many individuals awards at the CAC Games and other tournaments.  They both now in the twilight of their careers were voted by the CAC Administrative team to be the flag bearers, in honor of the many years of dedication and commitment to our country in their respective sport

 

What can we say of these athletes whose commitment to representing our country has been unwavering.  Our Gold medalist at these Games George Bovell III and Cleopatra Borel are three peat and two time Gold medalist respectively, both who have been able by their own wits to continue to be full time athletes.  Yes at times they would have benefited from funding from many different sources but the reality is that today they both continue to do all in their power to make ends meet to continue to represent this country.  We were honored to have them on our team.

 

The Trinidad and Tobago team was made up of 97 female and 103 male athletes.  Not the largest team ever but the first team to have such a strong female presence.  5 female teams represented the country and while it was the male teams that medaled, Hockey Men, the silver medal and Rugby men the bronze, it was a great achievement for women’s sport in Trinidad and Tobago. The only female medal was a good one as Cleopatra continues to show our young athletes that dedication commitment is rewarded at least in competition with a Gold Medal.

 

As always the questions will be asked.  Why not as many medals as in 2010? Why such poor performances in some of the team sports? Why so many 4th place finishes?  A few will venture to speculate that our Athletes are not committed, that foreign coaches are needed, that administrators are not providing the right environment.  The list goes on; lack of facilities, lack of training hours on courts and so on and on.

 

One my even venture to say that these are just excuses but the reality is that we have great expectations for our athletes at all Games but should we not ask the question?  Have we given our athletes the tools to represent our country to the best of their ability?

 

What about the motivation intrinsic and extrinsic to be an elite athlete? (It is well documented that athletes are required to train a minimum of 20 hours a week to be considered a high performance athlete)

 

90% of the athletes that represented our country at the CAC Games were part time athletes.  However these athletes are no longer competing against part timers in any of their sports.  The Athletes from Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic Venezuela and many more of the Spanish speaking countries are predominately full time athletes.  How can we compete?  How do we stay competitive?  How do we close the gap? Where do the conversations begin?

 

The reality is that unless we make the changes we will continue to have false expectations.  We cannot continue in Sport the way we have in the past.  It cannot be “business as usual” when we attend these Games. We must decide whether we are high performance sport or whether we are recreational sport.

 

The medical support at the Games was superb. The outstanding team of Doctors, Physiotherapist, Athletic trainers  and massage therapist were kept busy from the arrival of the first athletes. This type of support should be ongoing for our athletes and not only provided by the TTOC Medical team at Games. This would be only the start of the conversations.

 

Our nations athletes deserve more.  We must not only begin the conversations but act on them as Dexter St Louis, Nolan Tash, George Bovell and Cleopatra Borel just wont be able to fly the flag forever.

 

Annette Knott

Chef de Mission

 

 

XXII CAC Games Veracruz

Chef de Mission Annette Knott led the delegation, which included 280 officials, coaches and athletes in

Athletics, Swimming (Pool and Open water), Waterpolo, Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Canoe/Kayak, Cycling, Gymnastics, Hockey, Judo, Rugby, Sailing, Shooting, Squash, Table Tennis, Taekwondo and Volleyball (Beach and Indoor).

 

The medal haul included - 2 Gold, 1Silver and 8 Bronze.

GOLD

George Bovell lll - Men's 50m Freestyle (Swimming)

Cleopatra Borel - (Shot Put)

 

SILVER

Men’s Hockey

 

BRONZE

Kwesi Browne - Men's Keirin (Cycling Track)

Michael Alexander – (Boxing)

Christopher George - Men's 100 kg (Judo)

Roger Daniel - Men's Ind. 10m Air Pistol (Shooting)

George Bovell lll - Men's 50m Backstroke (Swimming)

C. Humphreys/D. St. Louis - Men's Doubles (Table Tennis)

Dorian Alexander - Men's Under 68kg (Taekwondo)

Men 7’s Rugby

New Zealand gained perfect revenge for last year's defeat by edging Australia to win the World Rugby Women's Sevens in Dubai today following a remarkable comeback after they appeared dead and buried at half-time.

In 2013, Australia overcame an early deficit to edge their Oceanic rivals with a narrow 35-27 victory, but, in an exact role reversal this time around, New Zealand fought back from 17-0 down to win 19-17 in sensational fashion at the Sevens Stadium.

Captain Sarah Goss was the star, touching down in the corner with seconds left for her second try of the game, while the other All Black try-scorer was Tyla Nathan-Wong.

"It's unbelievable really, we pride ourselves on finishing at the end so we're really happy," said Goss after lifting the trophy.

"They came out firing as we knew they would but fortunately we finished the job off.

"It's brilliant."

The tournament, which saw vital qualification points secured ahead of Rio 2016, where rugby sevens will make its Olympic debut, also saw other impressive performances, in a competition hailed as further evidence of the ever-increasing strength of the women's game.

The day began with a shock as France knocked out 15-a-side world champions England, 7-5 in a low scoring nail-biter, while New Zealand were pushed all the way in a 19-17 victory over Russia.

Australia were more comfortable 47-0 winners over Fiji, while Canada breezed to a resounding 36-0 win over the United States.  

In the semi-finals the two Oceanic sides were too strong, with Canada never recovering from a slow start in a 29-7 loss to Australia and New Zealand overcame France 31-10.

Canada made partial amends by edging the French 10-5 in the third-place playoff.

Meanwhile, it was the first day of the men's competition today, with 2013 champions Fiji starting as they hope to go on with three victories in Pool A.

South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia also qualified in impressive fashion.

Wales and Argentina also guaranteed themselves quarter-final qualification with impressive performances, while one more last-eight spot remains up for grabs ahead of the final round of pool matches tomorrow morning, with Scotland or Samoa the likely contenders.

Competition is due to conclude with the men's knock-out matches later tomorrow.

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...it will be a shame to just let it go

AMERICAN Randy Waldrum has urged the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) and THE Government to learn from past mistakes and not just let the national women’S football programme fall back into the obscurity from which it came, following the Women Warriors agonising failure to qualify for the 2015 FIFA Women’S World Cup.
The Soca Warriors lost a two-leg Inter-continental playoff 1-0 on aggregate against Ecuador for a spot in the World Cup. A highly-rated American coach of the women’s professional team Houston Dash, Waldrum donated his services for free in a bid to qualify T&T for a first appearance at a senior women’s World Cup. As disappointed as he is, Waldrum said T&T’s women footballers had touched many hearts around the world. He called them a Cinderella team.
“We’ve developed some good momentum here and I don’t think we need to just stop and let it go,” Waldrum said. “The next step going forward to start to build on it. As disappointed as we are, it will be a shame to just let it go down and take a back seat once again. We can’t have that happen. We need to go forward.”
“I am really proud of the group, but extremely disappointed for them. Especially those older players, who have put so much into the game,” Waldrum added. “I think the future is bright. We have a lot of good upcoming talent like Anique Walker and the Debesette twins. But for those players who this might be their last opportunity, I feel very disappointed for them.”
Waldrum felt his team played well against Ecuador, whose game plan he said, was to sit and counter and take advantage of set plays. “The two areas that I am disappointed in is that as much as we had the ball, we did not create enough clear opportunities to create great shots on goal.
‘’We had a lot of services and crosses into the box, but we did not get the clear shots. The other thing, defensively, was giving up the foul late in the game. Those are things we addressed all week, that there was no need to foul a player out wide. We did and (as a result) we are not going to the World Cup.
“I think we were much better tonight that we were in Ecuador. We were much healthier than we were at CONCACAF,” Waldrum said. “We got three or four chances I thought we should have scored. We didn’t, and when you keep teams hanging around it happens.”

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