JOA refutes JAAA claims over technical manual but open to discussion

By Sports Desk June 27, 2024

 The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) has issued yet another response to comments made by Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) President Garth Gayle during a television interview, further intensifying the already heated exchange between the two organizations. The statement, released on Wednesday night, comes amidst growing tensions over, among other things, the number of officials allowed to accompany athletes to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

In recent days, the JAAA and veteran coach Glen Mills have criticized the JOA, particularly over what they see as an insufficient athlete-to-official ratio for the upcoming Olympics. The JAAA had requested 17 officials to support the athletes, but the JOA has allocated only 14. This disagreement has sparked a series of public statements and interviews, with Gayle recently calling for a sit-down with the JOA to resolve the issues.

During a televised interview, Gayle claimed that he had not received the Technical Manual governing the sport of track and field from the JOA. In a strongly-worded statement, the JOA refuted this claim, stating, "By email sent on January 10, 2024, the said manual was sent to Mr. Gayle, Mr. Ludlow Watts, Miss Marie Tavares, and Miss Juliette Parkes, executives of the JAAA."

The JOA further clarified that Gayle, who served as the Second Vice President of the JOA from 2017 to 2021, was well-acquainted with the technical manuals and the team size formula, having chaired the JOA’s Games Commission. "Mr. Garth Gayle, while occupying the office of the Second Vice President of the JOA, was Chairman of the JOA’s Games Commission and was totally familiar with technical manuals and the concept of the team size formula which he administered in several meetings to associations respecting international games," the statement read.

The JOA also emphasized their willingness to engage in dialogue with the JAAA, noting that they had already met with the JAAA on two occasions, meetings from which Gayle was notably absent. "The JOA has always been open to meet with the JAAA and did so on two occasions on which Mr. Gayle was absent. The door remains open," the statement concluded.

This latest development underscores the ongoing friction between the two bodies as they navigate the logistics and preparations for the 2024 Paris Olympics. The JAAA's concerns about the number of officials are grounded in the belief that a larger support team is crucial for the athletes' performance across various disciplines. However, the JOA's adherence to established formulas and regulations points to a broader challenge of balancing administrative protocols with the specific needs of the athletes.

As the feud continues to unfold, the sporting community in Jamaica watches closely, hoping for a resolution that prioritizes the athletes’ best interests while maintaining organizational integrity and cooperation between the JAAA and the JOA.

 

 

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