The International Association of Athletics Federations became the first world governing body to confirm it had resigned from SportAccord following the attack by its President Marius Vizer on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) here earlier today.

The IAAF is one of three International Federations to have resigned, along with International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) and World Archery.

Lamine Diack and  Franz Schreiber, President of the IAAF and secretary general of the ISSF respectively, were also among at least 10 Olympic Federations to sign a letter claiming they did not agree with Vizer's comments and that they back Bach.

Uğur Erdener, President of World Archery, was also also among the signatories of the letter and later confirmed they suspended their membership of SportAccord.

Vizer had launched a scathing attack on the IOC at SportAccord's General Assembly, accusing them of running a system that is "expired, outdated, wrong, unfair and not at all transparent."

The letter, obtained by insidethegames, claimed Vizer had spoken on their behalf without them being consulted.

"We the undersigned Members of the SportAccord Association are expressing to the SportAccord leadership our disagreement on the opinions expressed this morning by the SportAccord President during the opening speech which do not reflect the views of the International Federations," the letter said.

"We also express our strong support to the International Olympic Committee and to the Olympic Agenda 2020 which has been adopted under the leadership of the IOC President Thomas Bach in consultation and agreement with all the International Federations".

All of the Federations who have signed the letter are part of the Olympic programme at the Summer Games and, of the 13, eight are led by current or honorary IOC members.

All are considered to be close allies of Bach.

The most prominent name was Diack, a member of the IOC between 1999 and 2013 until he reached the mandatory retirement age of 80 when he became an honorary IOC member.

The other Federations to sign the letter were the World Aquatics Federation, World Archery, World Badminton, the International Basketball Federation, International Canoe Federation, International Fencing Federation, International Hockey Federation, FIFA, International Modern Pentathlon Union and World Rowing,

The International Cycling Union, International Volleyball Federation and World Rugby have all confirmed to insidethegames that they also later signed the letter.
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Both the IAAF and the ISSF announced they had resigned from SportAccord during the General Assembly where Vizer had made his remarks during the opening address.

"I can confirm that the IAAF has announced earlier today its decision to withdraw its membership of SportAccord which we are entitled to do under Article 11 of the Sportaccord constitution," IAAF deputy secretary general and official spokesman Nick Davies told insidethegames.

“The reason is that we are unable to agree with the contents and tone contained in the speech of the Sportaccord President Mr Vizer at the opening this morning.

"So this resignation is a protest against the position taken by Mr Vizer against the IOC and his statements about the position of the International Federations viz a viz the IOC which the IAAF cannot accept."

Olegario Vazquez Raña, President of the ISSF, backed Diack's stance.

“The ISSF cannot accept the positions expressed by the SportAccord President Vizer during his opening speech at the SportAccord Convention in Sochi, today," Vazquez Raña, a member of the IOC since 1995, told insidethegames.

"We do not share his negative evaluations on the governance of the International Olympic Committee.

"The ISSF fully supports the work of the IOC President Thomas Bach and we see the IOC Agenda 2020 as an opportunity for the whole Olympic Movement.”

World Archery confirmed they had resigned a few hours after the meeting.

"World Archery has informed SportAccord of its intention to suspend its membership with immediate effect," the governing body's secretary general Tom Dielen told insidethegames.

The issue is set to be top of the agenda when the ruling Council of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF), chaired by International Tennis Federation President Francesco Ricci Bitti and which also includes Erdener, are due to hold a meeting here tomorrow.

Leaders from all 28 sports that will make up the Summer Olympic programme at Rio 2016 are then due to meet on Wednesday (April 22) for the  ASOIF annual meeting which Vizer, as President of the International Judo Federation, is expected to attend.

The IAAF, meanwhile, are a Gold Partner of the SportAccord Convention World Sport & Business Summit which is taking place here and are due to host a major event to promote athletics tomorrow.

But Bach claimed the row with Vizer would not affect the IOC's relationships with the International Federations.

"I think everyone was surprised [about his opening speech], even his own Executive Board did not have an idea and I think this speaks for itself," Bach told insidethegames."

We have - and always will have an excellent relationship with the different International Federations.

"Now, while we are talking, there is a workshop between the IOC and the IOC Recognised Federations (ARISF) going on.

"Our activities are accessible to everybody.

"Our support is obvious to everybody, so we will just continue in this way.  

"So it is business as usual."


CABLE AND Wireless Communications (CWC) will be the official broadcast sponsor and telecommunications network for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

This announcement was made at a media conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port-of-Spain yesterday.

The rights for Cable and Wireless to air the Games was made by CANOC Broadcasting Incorporated (CBI), which is a subsidiary of CANOC (Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees). CANOC acts as the umbrella body for all Olympic Committees in the Caribbean region.

Steve Stoute, president and chairman of CANOC and CBI, told the gathering, “CWC will also be the first regional telecommunications partner to broadcast the Olympic Games on mobile devices. Each CANOC member will get the opportunity to partner with CWC if they so desire.

“This partnership will allow CANOC to bring the Games to the Caribbean audiences on cutting-edge technology,” added Stoute.

Elaborating on this point was John Reid, president of the CWC Consumer Group.

“Instead of taking a traditional linear approach to broadcasting, which limits our customers’ viewing choices, CWC will adopt a multi-platform approach to transmitting a wide variety of content,” Reid said.

“For our customers, this experience will be nothing short of spectacular,” he added. “They will have access to a unique variety of live video feeds, offered across a number of media platforms, including radio, ESPN’s live television coverage, video on demand, as well as mobile and Internet streams — all of which can be accessed from each customer’s preferred device.

“The best part is that we will do so at no additional cost to our customers.”

Reid noted, “from historical features to contemporary stories, our customers will have more than 12 hours each day of extra Olympic programming.

Much of this content is going to focus on our local and regional athletes because we want to showcase material that is relevant to our customers. We are proud to enable our viewers to see their hometown heroes in real time.”

He revealed that CWC will offer its commitment to the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) drive for “10 Olympic gold medals by the 2024 Games” Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund. The fund is to garner financial support for TT athletes as they seek to amass 10 or more gold medals by the 2024 Olympics.

“While we’ve already made a donation to this important initiative, we plan to deepen our involvement and will actively look for other similar opportunities to nurture and develop our region’s youth and talent,” Reid pointed out. The agreement was endorsed by TTOC president Brian Lewis, who stated, “(yesterday’s) announcement represents an important step for the Olympic movement in the Caribbean.”


FROM BREAKING neighbours’ windows to smashing records, a javelin thrower’s still emerging but already notable career belies the slender and humble exterior of Tobago’s latest sporting prodigy.

The northern half of our two-island republic, having produced no small number of outstanding personalities, introduced its latest offering on Easter weekend: the unassuming Tyriq Horsford.

It was at the Carifta Games in St Kitts two weekends ago that Horsford almost literally threw himself into the limelight. A 15-year-old shattering the record in a field event for Boys Under-18 - that’s stuff to make people sit up and take notice. The javelin record had stood at 67.67 metres; Horsford threw the spear a little past that, 70.73m to be precise.

Keshorn Walcott’s gold medal shocker at London 2012 notwithstanding, the Horsford saga started at a primary school in the fishing village of Parlatuvier, some seven years ago. A child used to “pelting stone” had excelled at an event called “throw the cricket ball,” and having watched some older boys in training, had made a habit of begging their coach to let him try out at the javelin.

“And I say, you too young for this,” said his coach Wade Franklyn. “His father told me that he does break everybody glass window in the village. He said, take care of him and train him, he might come out something good.” Franklyn, a Level Four Athletics coach, took the boy under his wing, and Horsford’s throwing distances have increased every year since. Basseterre was his second Carifta outing.

“I was expecting a lot, to throw over 70 metres and break the record,” Horsford said, relaxing amidst the Tobago contingent after winning his pet event at the Secondary Schools Championships last week. “And it was achieved, and that was basically it.”

Slim, and about five foot ten, he can only grow stronger. Horsford is also a decent sprinter, but in the javelin, he has much further to go; though he made the qualifying standard for the World Junior Championships, he is still under the minimum allowable age. Franklyn says he is already showing signs of maturity, noting that Horsford has moved up from training twice to up to four days per week. “I think it’s because of the age, he sees things a little different now, especially after making the national team.”

There seems to be a lot working in the youngster’s favour. Franklyn alludes to natural strength from a heritage of fishing and pulling nets and sails. “He has the capacity to learn, and as a matter of fact, he hasn’t even started to do strength training with weights yet,” he noted. “I really don’t want to push him too fast into that, because I mean his body is still developing. We do more like core work, speed work, jumps, drills, you know, and a lot of technique work, because technique is really important. If your body alignment and hip turns wrong, no way you could throw that distance, so you have to concentrate a lot on technique.”

It’s a lot for the teenager. He attends school at Signal Hill Secondary and trains at Shaw Park in Scarborough.

“I take two days off, like Tuesday and Thursday, so those days will be for my homework,” he explained. On weekends, he travels home to Parlatuvier; he is the youngest of four, having a brother and two sisters.

“My favourite food?” he paused, then smiled. “Dumplings and chicken.” Horsford loves music and relaxes by playing the guitar. “I love swimming,” he added, without prompting. “I love to go to the beach a lot. That is one of the most important parts of my career right now. Javelin puts a lot of strain on your shoulders, so bathing in the sea will recover it faster than usual.” Franklyn believes that Horsford could be throwing 80 metres next year. “Basically, with the mindset and the passion he has to reach that level where he wants to break the world junior record, I think that he’s on the right track.”

He added that Horsford would not be introduced to weights for a while yet. “I think at around 17, because by that time, his body should be more mature. It could slow him down. There are other forms of strength training we could work on.”

For the time being, the pride of Parlatuvier will remain just another ‘Fourth Former’ at Signal Hill.

“My motivation is train hard and shut up,” he said, staring intently at his teammates’ efforts on the track. “You have to be patient because nothing comes easy in life, it’s always by hard work, so you have to dedicate yourself to what you’re doing and try to work and improve, and always listen to your coach.”

Hopefully, the nation’s talented youth are listening.


TRINIDAD AND Tobago’s Junior Pan American cyclists are expected to return home today after equalling this nation’s highest medal tally with four at the aforementioned meet which pedalled to a stop in Aguascalientes, Mexico yesterday.

Kollyn St George’s back-to-back victories in the Women’s 500-metre Time Trial and Team Sprint (with Keiana Lester) was further bolstered by Tyler Cole’s historic bronze achievement in the Men’s Omnium and Sei Daniel’s third place finish in the Men’s Keirin.

The returning outfit also comprises of Kollyn’s sister Jhordan, Chaquille Henry, Akim Constantine, Ramon Belmontes, Nicholas Paul and Teneil Campbell, who also played instrumental roles in racking up two new Pan American records in the Junior Women Team Sprint and 500m Time Trial, eight new national records and 14 personal best times.

Also, Cole’s bronze medal finish saw Team TT earn its first ever endurance medal at a Pan American Championships.

This year, the 10-member team was made up of eight regional debutants who have all proven that they are presently on the right track towards their professional development. The Junior Pan Ams however, did also serve as a measuring stick for the TT unit as they now shift focus towards the 2015 National Track Cycling Championships which rides off at the Arima Velodrome from May 1-4 (for Elite and Juniors) and May 8-10 (Masters).

For the first time in national cycling history, this year’s ‘Nationals’ for Elite and Juniors has been sanctioned by the UCI (International Cycling Union) and thus cyclists will receive valuable UCI points towards their overall UCI ranking, which will reflect on their World Cup and Olympic qualification.

Additionally, the National Championships will also serves as qualifiers for the Pan Am Games in July, Elite Pan Am Championships in September and the inaugural Caribbean Track Championships in May.

Admission to ‘Nationals’ is free.


International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach will receive an annual indemnity payment of €225,000 (£164,000/$243,000), the IOC Ethics Commission has revealed today as part of a bid to illustrate its transparency.

Releasing greater financial details has been hailed as a major reforming gesture by the IOC, with openness and good governance a key part of the Agenda 2020 reform process approved last December in Monte Carlo.

IOC members and IOC honorary members will receive annual administrative support of $7,000 (£4,700/€6,400) as well as $450 (£304/€415) per day when travelling to Olympic Games as well as IOC Session and Commission meetings and other "special missions".

An additional sum of $450 on top of the $450 they already receive will also be paid to Commission chairs when travelling to meetings, while the same amount will be paid to IOC Executive Board members during events.

In a published letter sent to all members by IOC Ethics Commission chair Youssoupha Ndiaye, it was explained that the IOC's "wish for greater transparency has been reflected in the IOC's presentation of its finances using the highest international standards", adding:

"It must also be reflected in all other aspects of the IOC's management, particularly with regard to the policy on indemnities allocated to IOC members."

The letter ends with a call for all the sports organisations within the Olympic Movement to establish a similar policy and make this public, in order to "increase transparency within the sports movement".

With relation to Bach, it is explained that, although a volunteer, the President "should not have to finance activities related to his function from his personal savings".

As an "Executive President", the German is considered to be "on a mission" for the IOC 365 days a year, and has received a relevant indemnity in the past.

But, "for the sake of transparency", it has been decided that this will now come from one single source, with Bach consequently not receiving either the fixed annual support nor the daily indemnity related to all Commission meetings or anything else he is entitled to as a member.

This payment does not include Bach'a hotel accommodation, including when in Lausanne, when he stays in a suite paid for by the IOC at the Lausanne Palace Hotel.

This presumably accounts for the far lower total than the $709,000 (£440,000/€530,000)  in expenses paid to former President Jacques Rogge in 2012, which has been declared in previous IOC Annual Reports.

As well as the fact that Bach's allowance has been publicised more vocally, the other practical difference now appears to be how Bach will be paid in one lump sum, rather than through individual expenses payments.

Details of salaries and allowances received by other high profile sporting Presidents are invariably hazy, but in a Financial Report released last month, it was revealed that short-term employee benefits of $39.7 million (£26.6 million/€36.4 million) were paid to key management personnel within football governing body FIFA.

With the numbers of "key management personnel" numbering 37 as of 2012, this would imply average benefits of around $1 million (£670,000/€916,000) each, although it can be presumed that some officials receive far higher than that.

There have also been some calls for the IOC President to be a salaried position, with Ukraine's Sergey Bubka calling for this when he unsuccessfully stood against Bach for the Presidency in 2013, but this has been resisted.

Today's annoucement follows on from other positive gestures by the IOC regarding financial openness in recent weeks.

This includes the appointment of Pâquerette Girard Zappelli to the newly created position of chief ethics and compliance officer in the IOC administration, something proposed in Recommendation 31 of Agenda 2020.

Will Keenan has also been appointed chief internal audit officer.

The letter sent to the IOC membership and honorary membership can be read here.


Thompson, Bledman, Cedenio sizzle in US

Richard “Torpedo” Thompson, Keston Bledman and Machel Cedenio recorded fast openers at meets in the United States, on Saturday.
Competing in the 100 metres dash for the first time this season, Thompson stopped the clock at 10.04 seconds for victory in section one at the Alumni Gold meet, in Louisiana.

With that clocking, Thompson shot into second spot on the 2015 world performance list, behind American Trayvon Bromell (10.02). Another Trinidad and Tobago athlete, Texas State University student Aaron George was seventh in section two and 14th overall in the Alumni Gold men’s 100m in a wind-assisted 10.64.

Thompson had a busy day at the Alumni Gold meet, finishing fifth in the 200m in a windy 21.01 seconds, and running the second leg for third-placed Tiger Olympians in the 4x100m relay. Thompson’s team clocked 40.03.

Steve Waithe was also in winners’ row in Louisiana. Appropriately, the T&T/Pennsylvania State University athlete struck gold in the LeJuan Simon men’s triple jump event with a wind-aided 15.73m effort. Waithe’s best legal jump in the competition was 15.45m.

Simon was a T&T athlete, the highpoint of his career coming in 2004 when he represented the country at the Athens Olympics. The former Louisiana State University (LSU) student died in 2008 at the age of 27 as a result of complications from primary pulmonary hypertension.

At the National Training Center (NTC) Pure Athletics Sprint Elite Meet 1, in Florida, Bledman bolted to victory in the men’s 100m dash in a windy 9.94 seconds. In the preliminary round, the T&T sprinter clocked a windy 9.97 in his first 100m race for 2015. He won the heat, advancing to the final as the fastest qualifier.

Cedenio was on fire in his 400m season-opener, the 2014 world junior champion winning the men’s one-lap race in a personal best 45.09 seconds—good enough for sixth spot on the 2015 world performance list.

Kelly-Ann Baptiste got home in a wind-assisted 22.91 seconds to bag bronze in the women’s 200m. And Wayne Davis II topped the men’s 110m hurdles “B” race in 13.66.

In Texas, Deon Lendore clocked 45.14 seconds to grab gold in the Michael Johnson Classic men’s 400m event. The Texas A&M University quartermiler is seventh on this year’s world performance list.

Another T&T athlete, Janeil Bellille finished eighth in the women’s 400m in 55.08.

At the Georgia Tech Invitational, Emanuel Mayers won the men’s 400m hurdles in 50.39 seconds, and Ade Alleyne-Forte was second in the men’s 400m “B” race in 47.59.