Sean Bailey’s agent refutes JAAA VP’s claims on 4x400m Relay withdrawal

By July 05, 2024

Claude Bryan, the agent representing World Championships 400m finalist Sean Bailey, has strongly refuted statements made by JAAA Vice President Ian Forbes regarding the last-minute withdrawal of top athletes from the 4x400m relay at the Jamaica National Championships on Sunday night. Bryan clarified that his athlete had provided an explanation for his withdrawal, contrary to Forbes' claims.

Forbes had stated that none of the top three finishers in the 400m—Deandre Watkin (44.48), Bailey (44.65), and Jevaughn Powell (44.79)—nor the 400m hurdles champion Malik James-King, who were expected to run in the relay, offered any explanation for their decision to pull out. The relay was crucial for Jamaica's last-ditch effort to qualify for the 4x400m relay at the 2024 Paris Olympics, needing a time of 2:59.12 to secure a spot among the top 16 teams in the world.

In a response to Forbes' statements published by Sportsmax.TV, Bryan set the record straight, emphasizing the communication efforts made by Bailey and his team.

"For the JAAA VP to say that 'no explanations had been provided by the athletes for their late withdrawals' is wholly inaccurate," Bryan stated. "Sean Bailey’s physio, Sean Bailey, and myself went and spoke directly with Coach (Maurice) Wilson about his issue. Further to that, out of respect for the JAAA, an email was sent early on Monday morning detailing what had transpired, and said email was acknowledged by the JAAA."

Bailey had been experiencing discomfort in his hamstrings, and the decision to withdraw was made to prevent potential injury, which could jeopardize his chances of winning an individual medal in the 400m at the Olympic Games.

Speaking with Sportsmax.TV earlier this week, Forbes expressed his disappointment with the late withdrawals, noting the extensive preparations made to ensure the athletes were in optimal condition for the relay. "We need to have a pow-wow to look at what really transpired because the information from the coaches was very fast, things moved very quickly, so we haven’t gathered all the information. But it was most distressing that at the last minute, persons were pulling out," Forbes said.

To ensure the athletes were ready, meetings with athletes, coaches, and agents were held before the National Championships. On the recommendation of the athletes, the top 16 runners advanced to the semi-finals, with heats and semi-finals run on Thursday and the finals on Friday night. This schedule aimed to give the runners ample time to recuperate before the 4x400m relay, scheduled for 8:05 pm on Sunday. The athletes were also provided with hotel rooms for adequate rest and transportation. Additionally, two companies had put up JMD$1 million as an incentive for the runners to achieve the qualification time.

Despite the last-minute changes, four other athletes—Raheem Hayles, Zandrian Barnes, Tarees Rhoden, and Kimar Farquharson—stepped in to run the relay. They clocked a time of 2:59.87, which was just shy of the required time for Olympic qualification.

Bryan's clarification aims to ensure transparency and protect the integrity of the athlete he represents.



Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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