August 3, 2012
Kittian sprinter controversy a problem for Team SVG at London Summer Olympics?

Vice-President of the St Vincent and the Grenadines National Olympic Committee (SVGNOC) Wayne Williams has given the assurance that the management of Team SVG to the London Olympics,{{more}} will ensure that Vincentian athletes at the Games are not affected by the expulsion of St Kitts and Nevis sprinter Tameka Williams.

SEARCHLIGHT asked Williams on Tuesday about concerns that Eric Francis, the Track and Field Coach of the Kittitian athlete, is also training Vincentians Kineke Alexander and Courtney Williams at the London Games.

“You have a management staff in place out there and we do have to trust the management staff to do what it takes,” Wayne said.

“With all the information circulating, I am sure that they will be doing what is necessary… We could only trust that the Athletics Association [that] in selecting their personnel [they] would have selected personnel who they trust will do right,” he further stated.

Tameka Williams, St Kitts and Nevis top female sprinter, was asked to return home less than 24 hours after taking part in the opening ceremony of the Games on Friday.

The St Kitts and Nevis Olympic Committee (SKNOC) said in a July 22 release that it decided to withdraw Tameka after she said she had used a substance that falls outside the internationally accepted medical code.

The SKNOC further stated that all the necessary bodies have been notified and the matter would be concluded, pending further investigation.

Last Sunday, SKNOC Vice President Dennis Knight told the Associated Press that Tameka had not tested positive, but the team acted after consulting with the World Anti-Doping Agency “to find out about the product”.

It was further reported that Tameka told team officials that she used the substance, which the team did not identify, at a pre-Olympics training camp.

“It was a matter of the management of the team doing their due diligence,” Knight said.

The 22-year-old Tameka had qualified for the 100 and 200 meters, and gave samples for anti-doping tests at national Olympic trials last month.

Tameka, however, on her Facebook page said, “Although results from a drug test in early June came back clean, I was sent home due to false accusations. It’s sad to see a 22-year-old’s dreams washed away by people who don’t believe in me. W/no chance of a second drug test to prove my innocence I was dismissed. SKN I am not sorry for working hard all year and I have never taken illegal substances to enhance my performance or any thereof.”

To date, no information has been released to the public regarding the substance, but well-placed sources told SEARCHLIGHT the substance is alleged to be an injected vitamin supplement.

Meanwhile, Francis is threatening to sue the SKNOC for withdrawing Tameka from the Games.

He told WINN FM in St Kitts he plans to undertake legal proceedings over Tameka’s expulsion and “the libelous and derogatory comments by members of the SKAAA and SKNOC indicating that Tameka is using performance enhancing drugs”.