Laurie Foster: JAAA drops the baton

first_imgThe fast-approaching Christmas season is traditionally a time of good cheer, the seeking of blessings from a Supreme Being, consumption of an enormous amount of food, and the exchange of gifts. Although the act also follows a path of tradition, the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), through its president, delivered its own gift of another body blow to the sport. One can almost hear in response shouts of ‘What’s new?’ or ‘Nothing better was expected’. Dr Warren Blake, Jamaica’s track and field head man, is once again under the cosh. Blake is widely accepted and acclaimed as an orthopaedic surgeon of the highest quality. However, from the comments being voiced – including social media – his latest action does not quite make the cut (pun intended). The ‘proof of the pudding’ in making what could be deemed a harsh criticism is inherent in a statement to the media recently. The stage was a press conference to announce nominees for the annual Golden Cleats Awards put on by the JAAA. On the world stage, Russia had been banned from international competition by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The move was effected after investigations by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) found them to be involved in state-supported violation of the code. Many of their top performing athletes at the global level were facing the loss of medals won. As a sequel to this, the Russian city of Kazan was stripped of its host status for the 2016 World Junior Championships. A replacement venue was to be announced after a new bidding process. SEEKING APPROVAL The JAAA had announced its intention to seek approval to be hosts. Success would mean that the black, green, and gold would be blessed with the prestige and privilege of so doing for the second time. Few will forget at the first staging in 2002, the comments of the then IAAF president Lamine Diack. He described it as “the best ever”. The Senegalese has since been disgraced – fingered by the same WADA probe for accepting a bribe of €1 million for culpability in drug test results concealment. Blake seized the opportunity at the awards press conference to issue a statement on the progress of the bid. He spoke of the local bid being withdrawn. It carried a price tag of US$10 million. Also mentioned, presumably as a reason for the withdrawal, was the likelihood of such a figure being realised. There was no mention in the excerpt of the interview, carried by national media, of any consultation prior to the decision to ‘lock it down’. One was left with the feeling that not even the Government had had an input in the verdict. If that is the case, several questions must now be asked. UNILATERAL DECISION? Was Blake’s decision really a unilateral one, taken without giving an ear to the battery of track and field savvy that surrounds him? One sincerely hopes not, but if that was the case, how could they come up with what must surely be a lame decision. It clearly has not factored in the increase prestige that adheres to the country’s image since the heroics of Beijing 2008 and sustained thereafter. Would that not have attracted the financial support from investors always in search of embellishment to their own profile? Yes, it is also Olympic year, with advertising spoils to be shared with the Rio spectacle. But where are the experts and bright marketers? Could not there be a combo where those interested in the spend could invest in both and widen their reach? Again, what about the Government? If they had a say in the matter, why not say so? At least that would have focused the scrutiny elsewhere. For feedback: E-mail lauriefoster2012@gmail.com.last_img read more

3 sought in theft from store

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake The employees struck by the car suffered minor injuries, deputies said. Deputies said loss-prevention employees at the store in the 44700 block of Valley Central Way told them they had detained the woman near the front doors for attempting to leave the store with unpaid merchandise. The two men with her walked out of the store, and the woman became combative, deputies said. The woman was stopped again outside, where she punched a woman employee. As the employees fought with her, the men drove the car onto the sidewalk, and she ran to it and got in, deputies said. Deputies searched the area Friday night but could not locate the three suspects or their car. — Charles F. Bostwick, (661) 267-5742 chuck.bostwick@dailynews.com LANCASTER – Three Wal-Mart employees and a passer-by were injured trying to stop a woman shoplifting suspect when two men believed to be her sons drove a car onto the sidewalk in front of the store to help her escape. Holiday shoppers ran to the rear of the west Lancaster store when the violence broke out at its front entrance about 8:45 p.m. Friday, witnesses said. Deputies were searching Saturday for the trio, described as a Latino woman in her 40s and two Latino men in their 20s in a red 1990s Chevrolet Lumina. Two employees were struck by the car, a passer-by cut his leg kicking out the driver’s window trying to stop it, and another employee had his arm cut by the broken glass when the car drove off as he reached in to grab the ignition key, deputies said.last_img read more