Baptiste free to compete after doping ban lifted.

Sprinter Kelly-Ann Baptiste is eligible to compete again.

Baptiste had been banned after testing positive for a prohibited substance. The sample was collected in April 2013.

Like her training partner, American Tyson Gay, Baptiste cooperated with a United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) investigation. But while Gay served a one-year ban, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) appealed an August 12, 2014 decision by the National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) disciplinary panel to lift the ban on Baptiste. At that point, Trinidad and Tobago’s Florida-based sprint queen had already served a 16-month period of ineligibility.

NAAA president Ephraim Serrette told the Express, yesterday, that the IAAF’s appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was ruled on earlier this month. However, in a press release from public relations officer Peter Samuel, the NAAA said details of the CAS settlement will not be made public.

“The National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) can confirm that the Kelly-Ann Baptiste case has been resolved before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (“CAS”), based in Lausanne, Switzerland.

“Further to the confidentiality provisions applicable to the proceedings, the Award of the CAS will not be made public. However, the NAAA can confirm that Ms Baptiste is free to return to competition with immediate effect.”

Serrette said that his interpretation of the CAS ruling is that the earlier decision of the NAAA disciplinary panel to lift the ban on Baptiste was “a correct decision”.

“We acted in accordance with precedent set, and we would have been correct. It’s very unfair to Kelly-Ann.”

However, chairman of the NAAA disciplinary panel, sports lawyer J Tyrone Marcus told the Express “it might be a bit too premature to say” Baptiste was unjustly treated, based on the one-year ban handed to Gay.

“It’s still early days. More time has to pass, and more substantial assistance cases heard, so that a trend can be recognised.”

Baptiste is expected to be stripped of the two national records she had established at the 2013 National Championships. She clocked 10.83 seconds in the 100m final and 22.36 in the 200m championship race. If those two marks are annulled, Baptiste’s next best 100m clocking, 10.84 seconds would return to the record books, while Semoy Hackett’s 22.55 run from May 26, 2012 would be recognised as the national 200m record.

Hackett is currently serving a doping ban, and will be eligible to compete again on May 1.

In a continuation of its partnership with UNESCO and other organisations, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has today announced new guidelines urging improved standards of worldwide physical education.

The Quality Physical Education (QPE) Guidelines, aimed at Governments and educational planners, are in line with the IOC's mission to include sport in school curricula worldwide and to promote Olympic values-based education.

"Physical education in schools is crucial if we are to get the couch potatoes off the couch," said IOC President Thomas Bach today during a meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for Physical Education and Sport (CIGEPS) at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne.

"Sport has a central role to play in the education system, not just to fight against obesity and sedentary behaviour, but studies have shown time and again the positive effects physical activity has on the social and intellectual development of young people.

"Collaborating closely with UNESCO, we will ensure physical education is an integral part of school curricula to promote a healthy mind in a healthy body."

The Guidelines are a tool to help Governments reverse the decline in investment in physical education in schools, a trend seen recently in many countries, providing a framework to help policy-makers reshape policy as well as providing practical advice for implementation.

The IOC will specifically provide support to five pilot countries, through their National Olympic Committees from March 2015 to April 2016, although the identity of these five nations are still to be released.

Today's announcement has been billed as a continuation of the IOC's effort to use sport as a tool for education, demonstrating that Olympic values-based education can inspire young people to adopt healthy lifestyles built on the values of friendship, excellence and respect.

Strengthening its partnership with UNESCO to roll out physical education was also among the 40 recommendations approved at last month's Extraordinary IOC Session as part of the IOC Agenda 2020 reform process, with today's announcement a good early step.


The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee(TTOC) #10golds24 Athlete Preparation and Welfare Fund continues to attract financial support from Corporate Trinidad and Tobago
Following on from the Guardian Group contribution of $250, 000 towards the fund .
four other corporate companies presented cheques on Wednesday  at the Olympic House to the Honorary Secretary General of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) Mrs. Annette Knott.
Representing their respective organisations were  Sean Shaffie - Toyota’s Marketing Manager, Julio Dallacosta - VP Finance Columbus Company, Rawlins C. Boodoo - Southern Sales Group Marketing Manager and Hazel Mootoo - HR Manager Deloitte.

Before the handing over of cheques, TTOC president Brian Lewis thanked  the companies for answering the call to support the athletes of Trinidad and Tobago.

“This is a first  for the Olympic Committee not only because of the roll out of the #10 gold24 and the establishment of the athletes’ preparation and welfare fund but in terms of signaling to the national community the strategic transformation and modernisation of the TTOC marketing approach.”

Lewis added “ in terms of transparency and accountability . We have to be scrupulously transparent. We would love to see at some point this relationship evolve and that you find the experience such a fantastic one that you want to take it to the platinum partner level . It is really about the athletes and no one stake holder can do it alone because it is not an inexpensive proposition.”



Tickets for the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games Opening Ceremony have sold out and ones for gold medal events are selling fast, the Organising Committee has revealed.

Fans have already snapped up almost 275,000 tickets for the event, with the men's football gold medal game, and aquatics, track cycling, BMX, canoeing and kayaking, beach volleyball and equestrian jumping events proving particularly popular.

"Tickets to see those memorable medal moments are selling quickly," Saäd Rafi, chief executive of Toronto 2015.

"The Games are a once-in-a-generation chance to see our most elite summer Games athletes compete on home soil and to be part of the high-energy crowd who will be cheering them on and singing our anthem together."

There are now also limited tickets available for the men's baseball and basketball gold medal matches, and the 100 metres, 4x100m relay, beach and indoor volleyball and rugby sevens finals, as well as for the Closing Ceremony.

"The numbers are beyond our expectations - especially since we haven't yet announced when Team Canada will be playing, not to mention the countless athletes from across the Americas who are still in the process of qualifying for the Games," Rafi added.

"That said, it was no surprise that the available tickets to our Opening Ceremony, produced by Cirque de Soleil, went fast.

"It's sure to be an unforgettable night."

Toronto 2015 Pan American Games tickets, which start at just $20 (£13/€18), with 75 per cent of tickets priced $45 (£30/€40) and under, are available for purchase here.

Tickets for the Parapan American Games will go on sale in spring this year, giving sports fans the chance to watch some of the world's best Para-athletes as they compete for their chance to qualify for Rio 2016.

The Toronto 2015 Pan American Games are due take place from July 10 to 26, while the Parapan Games are scheduled for August 7 to 15.


Port-of-Spain, Trinidad January 27, 2015: Guardian Group and the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) hosted a press conference today, Tuesday January 27th, 2015 to re-affirm its partnership and commitment to the TTOC, ensuring the welfare and protection of Trinidad and Tobago athletes not only as they prepare for Rio 2016 but for life after sport with financial assistance and professional support to the #10golds24 Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund.  In addition to its support of the fund, Guardian Group has been able to structure a package of insurance coverage to the TTOC for all athletes in the Sporting Federations identified by the TTOC. The TTOC is now actively considering the plan which includes local Medical Coverage and Accident Medical coverage for injuries arising out of sporting/training events.


At the press conference Douglas Camacho, Executive Director and Group President Strategic Investments and former President of the TTOC shared Guardian Group’s legacy of support to the TTOC and ongoing commitment to ensuring Trinidad and Tobago’s athletes are so positioned to not only have success in their respective disciplines but in life after sport. This has always been a focus for Guardian Group going as far back as 2001.


Guardian Group’s partnership with TT Olympic Committee spans almost (15) years.  In 2001, Guardian Life of the Caribbean initiated the Youth Star Programme, the vision of which was the personal development of young people which included the nurturing of important life skills – outside of training – for a more holistic development of these young adults. In addition to Guardian’s executives providing expertise in financial and investments planning, these young people were coached in public speaking and presentation skills. The first group of athletes who participated were Darrel Brown, Marc Burns, Danille Prime, Fana Ashby, Shane Stone, Tyler Mayers and Lindell Brooks as part of the pilot project.  In return, these athletes mentored youths in Trinidad and Tobago at schools and other youth fora.

When the Youth Star programme was phased out in 2006, Guardian Life of the Caribbean  partnered with the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) to implement a health and wellness initiative aimed at encouraging athletic development and improving the physical wellbeing of Trinidad & Tobago citizens. In 2007 Youth Stars morphed into Shape Your Life,

Affiliate Assistance/ Athletes –four athletes got assistance in their preparation for the Pan American Games in Rio. These were athletes who would not have been able to benefit from the government’s Elite Athletes Funding programme. Among them was local hammer thrower, Candice Scott, the only athlete to represent Trinidad & Tobago in this event.

Elderly Aquatic Programme –for three hours every week from April to August, 40 sixty-five year olds (plus) took part in aerobic aquatic exercises.  Physiotherapists, life guards and instructors in tandem with Hydro-fit facilitated the much enjoyed aqua-therapy.

Intergenerational Heritage Games – 1200 participants ranging in age from 8 to 80 from six communities in rural Trinidad came together for the Games. The games re-established strong links within communities and promoted overall camaraderie and competitive spirit.


TTOC President, Brian Lewis was presented with a cheque from the Group CEO of Guardian Group, Ravi Tewari to aid #10golds24 Athlete Welfare and Preparation Fund. Brian Lewis, TTOC President, expressed his gratitude to Guardian Group and commended their long standing partnership in the work of the TTOC. He also indicated that Guardian Group’s offer of medical coverage was a very positive development and breakthrough in the protection and coverage of Trinidad and Tobago athletes on the world stage.

The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis's smile was a bit broader this morning when four corporate entities handed over cheques to the #10gold24 Athlete Preparation and Welfare Fund.

At the TTOC headquarters on Abercromby Street, Colombus Communications, Southern Sales, Toyota and Deloitte & Touche all made financial contributions to the fund that Lewis launched with his 26.2mile walk in the Trinidad and Tobago International Marathon Sunday.

The investment  follows the $250,000 cheque the Guardian Group donated yesterday to the Fund Just Tuesday , Douglas Camacho  appealed to corporate Trinidad and Tobago to stop the bandwagon jumping and step forward to help T&T athletes in their development stage.

Lewis hoped that this would be the start of a long-lasting relationship with the new investors.

"This is a first time for the Olympic Committee not only because of the roll out of the #10 gold24 and the establishment of the athletes preparation and welfare fund but in terms of signaling  to the national community  the strategic  transformation and  modernisation of the TTOC marketing approach," Lewis said, adding the TTOC was adapting a new social and digital media initiative to connect with a younger audience.

"We have to be scrupulously honest. The idea is we would love to see at  some point it (this relationship) evolve and that you find the experience such a fantastic one that  you want to take it to the top partner level but at this point in time it is really about the athletes and   no one stake holder can do it all  because it is not an inexpensive proposition," Lewis said The former rugby player said the TTOC   is also taking a more proactive approach to fan and corporate engagement.

By expanding to other corporate stake holders, Lewis hoped to secure more resources to help more athletes.

"What the Fund/project is allowing us to do is to satisfy the demands of our relationship with our top partners but also afford an opportunity to other businesses and corporate entities in the marketplace to engage and be part of what we believe is an absolutely powerful initiative which is to engage the young people of T&T in a contemporary and dynamic way ......I hope your involvement is not a one-off because  we have to recognise that this is an ongoing relationship," Lewis stated.

TTOC secretary general Annette Knot said the TTOC executive were extremely proud of Lewis and his initiative that has garnered so much support .

"The TTOC we were really proud that Mr  (Brian) Lewis decided to make this very bold step  with this walk," Knot said, " We are very proud of him but I can't tell you the momentum it has given us   because now we have so many more people very conscious of the Fund. Of course, just the evidence of you being here today says to us that the step he e took was a bold step and we are very happy that he did because we know  it will actually transfer from being cheques today to being actual performances tomorrow and going forward."

Lewis promised the sponsors and the national community that the TTOC will ensure through good accounting practices that all money given to the Fund will go directly to benefiting the athlete and will be transparent and accountable to stake holders.