The Court of Arbitration for Sport has thrown out the appeal of Grenadian quarter-miler Bralon Taplin’s against a four-year ban for intentionally avoiding a drug test in April 2019. The athlete will now serve a ban set to end in September 2023, when he will be 32 years old.

Taplin, 28, who was seventh in the 400m final in Rio, four years ago, was sanctioned by the Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organization in November 2019 for avoiding a drugs test.

The sanction stemmed from an incident at the Grenada Invitational on April 13, 2019, when Taplin won the 400m at the Grenada Invitational.

Following the race, Taplin left the stadium without completing doping control even doping control officers had informed him that he was to undergo a drug test. Reports said he left the island early the following day.

According to a summary released by the CAS, Taplin was notified on August 20, 2019, that he was being charged with intentionally evading sample collection on at the 2019 Grenada Invitational.

Following an investigation, the Caribbean RADO Panel issued its decision on November 8, 2019, in which it found, “to its comfortable satisfaction”, that Taplin sought to evade the chaperone and doping control officers and that he was guilty of the offence of evading sample collection.

He was banned for four years.

However, in his appeal to the CAS, Taplin requested that the decision be set aside and that he be declared immediately eligible to compete on the grounds that he had not been properly notified that he had been selected for the doping control test.

The CAS arbitration was conducted by Canadian The Honourable Hugh L. Fraser, who held the hearing at the offices of the Grenada Olympic Committee on February 27 and 28, 2020.

The sole arbitrator found that Taplin’s evidence that he was never approached, followed, or accompanied by anyone from the Grenada NADO to be implausible.

The arbitrator stated that he was comfortably satisfied that Taplin was guilty of the offence of evading sample collection and confirmed the four-year period of ineligibility, which commenced on September 25, 2019, the date on which the provisional suspension began.

 

Citing concern over the perception of bias in favour of FIFA, William Wallace and his ousted executive of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) have withdrawn their appeal currently before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Describing the situation as a fight against injustice, Wallace said they will now take the dispute to the Trinidad and Tobago High Court.

Lawyers representing the ousted executive filed their notice of withdrawal to CAS on Monday.

Wallace was seeking CAS to overturn a decision by FIFA to appoint a normalization committee to oversee the running of the association until new elections can be held.

Wallace and his executive were constitutionally elected in November 2019, but FIFA, citing the lack of proper financial controls within the heavily indebted association, took the decision to intervene four months after the elections were held.

This, despite the fact that the bulk of the debt was accumulated under the previous administration led by David John-Williams.

However, in light of recent developments at CAS, the ousted executive feel they would be unable to get a fair shake before CAS.

“Indeed, the CAS cannot be said to be a free, fair and impartial forum if sporting bodies like the Respondent, with deep pockets and even deeper agendas, can unilaterally seek to impose the CAS as a forum for the resolution of disputes while simultaneously – and quite unconscionably – refusing to pay its share of the arbitration costs. Arbitration costs which are themselves disproportionately high to the ordinary litigant,” the lawyers said.

“In sum, the CAS has demonstrated that it not a proper forum for the adjudication of this matter. It has demonstrated apparent institutional bias in the familiarity and latitude shown to the Respondent.

Our clients have therefore instructed us to withdraw the appeal with immediate effect.”

In early May, the lawyers wrote to CAS expressing concerns over hiked costs - US$41,000 - that Wallace and his executive were being compelled to pay in advance of the tribunal hearing while at the same time declaring that FIFA will not pay arbitration costs in advance in matters such as these.

The costs were especially high, considering that the hearing would have likely taken place by video conference thus eliminating usual travel costs of the panel and the CAS’ counsel.

“To that end, we are genuinely unsure how the CAS facilitates access to justice with such extravagant fees. The Appellants are not from the developed world, nor are they as well-financed as the Respondent,” Dr Emir Crowne wrote to CAS.

The lawyers also argued that the matter was made even more alarming since the tribunal accepted without question FIFA’s submission that they wanted the matter heard by three arbitrators, thus tripling the associated costs.

“On its face, therefore, the CAS appears to be a willing participant in the Respondent’s gamesmanship, especially if the CAS had institutional knowledge that the Respondent – an entity with immeasurable financial resources – would not be advancing their share of the arbitration costs,” the lawyers said.

CAS’ subsequent response further rankled the lawyers while cementing their fears that they would not be able to have a fair hearing.

“Your response further solidified our clients’ concerns about the apparent institutional bias of the CAS,” said the lawyers in their letter to CAS on Monday.

They made reference to correspondence from CAS that said, “The Respondent is, however, invited to inform the CAS Court Office by 11 May 2020 whether it intends to pay its share of the advance of costs in this specific procedure. In case the Respondent refuses to pay such share, Article R64.2 of the Code shall apply and the CAS Finance Director's letter dated April 30, 2020, will be fully confirmed.”

FIFA, they said, then promptly informed the CAS on May 11, 2020, that it “will not pay its share of the advance of costs in this specific procedure.”

“If the CAS had genuinely rejected our clients’ concern of apparent institutional bias, it is unclear why the CAS would – subsequent to our letter – extend such an invitation to the Respondent at all.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There has been a long-running argument about what Jamaica can do to help push along its football development with many pundits voicing many different opinions.

One of the most successful schoolboy football coaches in recent history, former Jamaica College head honcho, Miguel Coley sat down with Tanya Lee on ‘Sports Chat’ recently and pointed to another way of looking at that development.

According to Coley, all the arguments about developing fields to generate good habits among young footballers will count for nought if the country does not understand how to manage its talent.

“Management of players is very, very important. We have not lacked talent but what we lack is properly managing our players,” the former Reggae Boyz assistant coach explained.

Coley compared the way other more successful sports in the country, like track and field are treated and believes football should take its cue from them.

“If you look at any other sport, like track and field, for example, that athlete needs management around him, he needs maybe his doctor, a physiotherapist, all different stakeholders that support him. In football, when we have very good players, we don’t have a good management system around them. They are injured, they cannot go to the doctor, they cannot find finances to do this and that,” he said.

Coley, who rose to fame after his Jamaica College units won every title you could think of over the course of seven years, said putting a good management team in place for good young players will engender professional habits and lead to better footballers.

“We have to identify our good young players from early, put a good management team around them and let them start feeling and seeing themselves as being on the doorstep of being a professional player,” he said.

Coley was not ignoring the other issues within football in Jamaica but said he believed development would occur even without them being resolved.

“People will say you need a lot of resources and money, but what we need more of is personnel. We know the problems with our fields, and many countries have issues with fields, so it is no problem sometimes you play on a bad field, and you grow from that level. We definitely need better fields in the country, but I think more than anything else it’s the management,” he said.

Coley, who is assistant coach at United Arab Emirates side Banniyas, also believes that management goes hand in hand with good coaching and wants the coaches in the country to up their level.

“We also have to get our coaches to a level where it is not only about being certified but to have the experience now to take our talents to the next level,” said Coley.

“For our football to improve, or for education on anything to improve, your teachers and coaches have to be at a certain level. You’re not going to be lecturing at the university with a diploma, you need a doctorate or maybe a masters, so that is something that has to improve. And this has nothing to do with our coaches not being good, but they have to be at a certain level to bring that talent because Jamaica has the raw, raw, talent, just bring the coaches to a certain level.”

Former Barbados Cricket Association member and women’s team manager Hartley Reid has claimed former West Indies Women’s team all-rounder Shaquana Quintyne is at times in ‘excruciating pain’ and barely able to walk after failing to properly recover from multiple cruciate ligament operations.

The 24-year-old bowling all-rounder has accused Cricket West Indies (CWI) of leaving her to fend for herself after getting injured during a training camp in preparation for the International Cricket Council 50-over World Cup three years ago.  Multiple operations and several failed rehabilitations later the player remains not only unable to resume her craft but on occasion has issues with mobility.

CWI CEO Johnny Grave has, however, strongly refuted claims that the organization has not been supportive of the player.

“We have provided enormous financial support and medical support for Shaquana since she got injured back in 2017…we have paid huge sums of money for her to try and get her career back and try and get back to full fitness,” Grave told the Mason and Guest Radio program.

According to Grave, the organisation’s Total and Permanent Disablement policy, which did not exist for the women’s team in 2017 was extended to Quintyne, in light of the injury.

Reid, however, also a former chairman of women’s cricket for the BCA when Quintyne was captain of the team, has also disputed the level of support provided by the CWI and does not believe it went far enough.

“When she got injured in Antigua in March 2017 she was not even taken to a doctor, a clinic, or to a hospital.  She got injured and was sent back to Barbados two days after.  When she came back to Barbados she was given instructions to see a doctor, that doctor was not even in Barbados.  So, she contacted me in all the pain and tears, and I took her to see an orthopedic surgeon,” Reid told the Mason and Guest Radio program.

Reid went on to explain that the player was unable to continue seeing that orthopedic surgeon in Barbados, after the CWI provided recommendations and means for the player to have surgery and treatment in Jamaica.  After some relief, the conditions, however, returned and Quintyne then got permission to be treated by the surgeon in Barbados.  The player again experienced some relief but after the conditions returned in 2018 was recommended for a third surgery, this time in Canada, on the advice of the Barbadian orthopedic surgeon.

“That is where Cricket West Indies assistance ended.  When she came back from Canada in March 2018, with the understanding that in three months’ time she would have returned to Canada for observation and further analysis, Cricket West Indies not agree for her to go,” Reid explained.

“So, she was in pain all of the time until she decided to go back with her own money.  In November 2018 she had another operation, all at her expense.  She was spending all of her money so she is poor now because she spent all of her money trying to get herself back in condition," he added.

“Right now, as we speak as she put it, her knee has locked up and she is in excruciating pain and she cannot walk, she is crying and immobile.”

 

Former West Indies batsman Ricardo Powell insists he could have benefited more from a better understanding of 'discipline' as a player and believes it is an issue to be addressed if the regional team is to return to a place of prominence.

Powell made a total of 116 appearances for the West Indies between 1999 and 2006 and is widely considered to be one of the cleanest hitters of the cricket ball.  Looking back at his introduction to the West Indies team as a 21-year-old in 1999, he freely admits that he had failed to grasp certain key elements needed for success during his development as a junior player.

“I remember growing up as a young player never understanding what discipline was in terms of the sport of cricket and how that was applied to cricket,” Powell told the Mason and Guest radio show.

“I always thought that this guy is indiscipline, he isn’t disciplined, not knowing that they were talking about the application to the actual game itself and not necessarily your behavior on and off the field,” he added.

In order to mitigate against such deficiencies affecting future generations of West Indies players, Powell believes the region must make a serious investment in mentorship programs.

“Mentorship should be a big thing in West Indies cricket right now because we are living in a different time and everyone wants to be successful overnight because of what T20 has brought to the game,” Powell said.

"I think a lot of mentorship needs to be taking place with workshops for younger players on and off the field.  The workshops also have to be relatable, with people like myself who have played the game and understand what it is to come from certain walks of life and make it to the top and understand what it takes to get there and how you are going to stay there.”

 

 

In this story that was initially published on Friday, May 15, 2020, the writer inadvertently attributed comments from the Dominica Cricket Association in relation to funds earmarked for the Dominica Cricket Academy to Mr Tony Astaphan. Those comments were actually made by Glen Joseph President of the DCA. Sportsmax.TV sincerely apologizes for the error and any harm that may have been caused to Mr Astaphan. 

 

 

 

Did Cricket West Indies (CWI) run the risk of being involved in money laundering when it acted as a conduit for more than US$100,000 intended for the development of cricket in Dominica in 2018?

That and more are questions being asked by auditors and former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding, who spoke out on the issue which was among several red flags raised by auditors in a recent report on the operations of the CWI.

According to Holding’s reading of the audit, that CWI has reportedly classified as ‘confidential’, but which the fast bowler characterized as damning and harsh, in 2018, the CWI received funds of US$134,200 from a sponsor on or about August 8, 2018, on behalf of the Dominica Cricket Association (DCA).

The money was received from a third party, which appeared to be an offshore corporation, Holding explained.

The auditors, Holding said, wrote that it was unclear why the funds did not go directly to the DCA.

However, the auditors, according to Holding, said the money was paid over to the DCA in three tranches; US$104,100 on November 16, 2018; US$15,700 on August 15, 2019, and US$14,400 on September 21, 2019. “In this particular situation, CWI was the financial conduit,” the auditors are quoted by Holding as adding.

The situation has created some underlying concerns.

“What due diligence was performed to ensure that the source of the funds was legitimate and that the funds were clean from an anti-money laundering compliance perspective,” Holding read.

According to Holding, the auditors also wanted to know what measures were taken to minimize the risk CWI may have been involved in money laundering, noting that they were unable to find an executed agreement for the transaction.

The funds were supposed to be specifically earmarked for cricket development in Dominica. However, there was no evidence CWI obtained confirmation from the DCA that the funds were used as directed.

Holding, while speaking with host Asif Khan on ‘Michael Holding Nothing Back’, also wanted to know whether any directors of the CWI board were involved in the transaction.

The former fast bowler turned commentator was the one who brought the matter to light while speaking with Khan, revealing that he had received a copy of the auditors’ report in his email and thought the Caribbean people would be interested in hearing its contents.

He also wanted to know what process was implemented by the CWI in authorizing the transaction.

However,  Glen Joseph President for the DCA told Andrew Mason, host of the popular Mason and Guest on Friday, that he was surprised by Holding’s comments.

He said he was aware that CWI had received the money and kept it for a long period of time.

Joseph explained the CWI held onto the funds because they were having cash-flow issues and had to use the money for some operations.

“This resulted in our academy having to struggle because we had no money to run the academy so realising the fact that we needed our funds, I made a demand for these funds and I am aware that it was sent. All money that was sent was received and it was solely used for cricket development purposes,” Joseph said.

“Recently, Mr Wilbur Harrigan, who is principal of PKF, (a Dominican firm of auditors and consultants) visited during the time when CWI came to visit in connection with the upcoming game against New Zealand and asked questions on the transaction.

“We explained to him that we received the money, what the money was spent for and shortly after we were able to send him documents on the spending of the funds. There are documents to prove that these funds were used for cricket development purposes. That I can confirm for anybody.”

Joseph said anyone who wishes to get information on the issue can contact the DCA.

“We are very transparent in what we do. I try my best to ensure that we give an account for every dollar received and every dollar spent.”

However, questions remain unanswered with regards to this issue and others raised in the report Holding read, which suggest the auditors were expressing grave concern.

“We have become aware of several matters that cause consternation with respect to whether things were done in the best interest of Cricket West Indies,” Holding quoted the auditors saying.

Cricket West Indies CEO Johnny Grave believes the development of a ‘culture of respect’ by regional players, and other stakeholders involved in the sport, would serve as a more effective solution than the prospect of broad fines levied against individuals for misconduct.

Recently, disparaging public outbursts directed towards other players from veteran West Indies players Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels has brought the issue of player discipline once again to the fore. In addressing the matter, CWI president Ricky Skerritt had previously expressed disappointment with the incidents.

 Outside of just the latest incidents, however, the region has had a long history of players choosing to air grievances in a public manner.  While some have suggested the implementation of public fines for instances of bringing the sport into disrepute as a solution, things can get more complex when the players are not directly contracted to the CWI.  Grave believes the best solution lies in a cultural shift.

“Individual cricketers that are outside of the framework of our cricket or contractual system can clearly talk openly and freely,” Grave told the Mason and Guest radio show.

“What I’d really want, rather than the ability to punish players, is to be able to create a culture of mutual trust and respect between all the stakeholders.  So, if there are disagreements or disputes, they are appropriately dealt with inhouse, and if we have to agree to disagree every now and again that will happen,” he added.

“I’d much rather have a culture within Cricket West Indies of mutual respect where we are not relying on a code of conduct or punishment.”   

Chris Gayle has apologized for some of the comments made regarding his departure from the Jamaica Tallawahs in three videos posted on YouTube on April 27.

Leeward Islands captain Kieran Powell has been left disappointed by his non-selection to the provisional 29-man squad for the West Indies tour of England which looks set to go ahead this summer.

Cricket West Indies announced the squad recently in lieu of agreements with the England and Wales Cricket Board about a tour that was scheduled for June but has now been postponed amid plans to make it safe despite the worldwide spread of COVID-19.

The squad had seen the return of pacer Shannon Gabriel, spinner Veerasammy Permaul and middle-order batsman Jermaine Blackwood.

There were also some new faces to the squad like Preston McSween, Paul Palmer, Shane Mosely and Keon Harding.

Powell, who last represented the West Indies on the 2018 tour of Bangladesh, was a notable absentee.

Since Powell’s exclusion from the West Indies set-up, he has scored fairly heavily in regional cricket, a fact that has elicited surprise at his non-selection.

“I haven’t really been as productive as I would like in the four-day format but I still managed to stand out above everyone else who played in the tournament so it’s disheartening for myself to learn that I hadn’t been selected based on the volume of runs I scored,” said Powell.

Despite leading the Caribbean in the Regional Super50 competition with 524 runs last year, Powell was not selected for series against India, Ireland and Sri Lanka.

There had been reports that Powell should have been a replacement for Evin Lewis in the Sri Lanka series. Lewis had failed a fitness test but the reports are suggesting Powell also failed that test.

“I don’t mind not being selected. This is part and parcel of being in West Indies cricket. It has been here long before me and I’m pretty sure it will be long after but communication is the most important thing,” Powell said regarding the failure of the fitness test.

According to Powell, he is yet to hear from CWI what aspects of the test he failed and what he needed to work on.

“Obviously there are more factors to it, which is what I am trying to ascertain. What are those standards, so I can work on whatever I need to work on so I can get my international career back off the ground?” he said.

While not calling names or suggesting this administration inclusive of coaches and board has anything more than the best interest of cricket at heart, Powell did point out that there was a certain stigma that has made his sojourn in West Indies cricket more difficult.

“I remember a coach of the West Indies team telling me that I don’t need to play for the West Indies team because I was financially good and that I should leave it for people who aren’t financially good and I didn’t understand,” said Powell.

According to the elegant left-hander, his finances should not be used to count against him playing for the region.

“No one would look at a LeBron James or a Cristiano Ronaldo, and so many others, that based on all the investments they have that they don’t need to play anymore. Obviously, we know the history of athletes going bankrupt,” he said.

Chief of selectors, Roger Harper, asked about the exclusion of Kieron Pollard, said the issue was one based completely on cricket and that there was no personal feeling toward Powell one way or the other.

“I don’t know of any problem with Powell. When we picked our squad, we picked what we thought was the best squad for those conditions,” said Harper.

The West Indies tour of England will see them fight to retain the Wisden Trophy they took from England last year.

Jamaica's 2019/2020 football season in - nationally and at the parish level - has been cancelled and declared null and void, Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Michael Ricketts said in a statement on Friday.

West Indies T20 specialist and former captain of the One-Day International team, Dwayne Bravo had some interesting choices to make during an interview on Cricbuzz, leaving out some big names on a list of five of the best T20 players in the game today.

Bravo, who was interviewed by Cricbuzz’s Harsha Bhogle, was given six players to choose from in each of five rounds of choices and here’s what he came up with.

In the first round, Bravo was made to choose from among Australia’s Matthew Hayden and David warner, India’s Virender Sehwag, New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum, and the West Indies’ Dwayne Smith and Chris Gayle.

Bravo chose Gayle.

The second round saw Bravo having to pick one of India’s Gautam Gambir and KL Rahul, England’s Johnny Bairstow and Joss Buttler, and Australia’s Shane Watson and Chris Lynn.

Bravo chose Watson.

India’s Virat Kohli was lined up against teammate Ambati Rayudu and Suresh Raina, as well as South Africa’s Faf Du Plessis and New Zealand’s Kane Williamson.

According to Bravo, while Raina is his favourite batsman, he would have to go with Kohli.

Up next were India’s Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant and Yuvraj Singh, Australia’s Michael Hussey, England’s Ben Stokes, and South Africa’s AB de Villiers.

Bravo went with de Villiers.

In the final round Bravo had a major struggle with picking from a grouping of India’s Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Hardik Pandya, Australia’s Glenn Maxwell, and the West Indian pair of Andre Russell and Kieron Pollard.

Bravo eventually went with Dhoni.

So Bravo’s choices as the top-five players today, given the imitations of the choices put to him were Chris Gayle, Shane Watson, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Given the grouping of choices, is Bravo correct?

Reports have emerged that Cricket West Indies has contacted 29 regional players telling them to prepare for a possible tour of England this coming July.

With a focus on rebuilding for the 2020 CPL season, the beleaguered Jamaica Tallawahs franchise has opted to retain four players including star player Andre Russell for the new season.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) and Cricket South Africa (CSA) have agreed to postpone both the Women’s Colonial Medical Insurance One Day International (ODI) Series against South Africa Women, scheduled to begin at the end of the month in Jamaica and Trinidad, as well as the Men’s ‘A’ Team Series scheduled to commence in Antigua in June.

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