By BRENT STUBBS
Senior Sports Reporter
AS one of the premier sporting bodies in the country, Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations' president Rosamunde Carey said she was disappointed that no one from the sport was elected to the Bahamas Olympic Committee.
Nominated by the BAAA, Carey ran for one of the vice president positions, while IAAF Councilwoman Pauline Davis was nominated for assistant secretary general.
Immediate past BAAA's president Mike Sands was nominated for the post of president by the Bahamas Aquatic Federation, but he nor Carey or Davis got elected at the elections held last week at the Paul Farquharson Auditorium at the Royal Bahamas Police Force headquarters.
"I wasn't disappointed about not getting in. I was disappointed in the fact that no one from track and field was on the board," Carey said.
"Track and field is the biggest sporting body in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas in terms of sports. It is the most successful sport. We are organization that get athletes on the podium at any major championships or games. So it was disappointed in that aspect."
In giving her views on the elections, Carey also touched on a number of issues, including the upcoming season, the Carifta Games, an athletes' doping scandal, the Steven Gardiner investigation and the BAAA's election of officers next November.
"We have had our success, including this year when Steven Gardiner made his breakthrough, along with Meagan Moss and Doneisha Anderson, two of our rising young stars who will be preparing for Carifta next year," she said.
"So we have plans in place, we have progress. We don't see that in the other organizations that had persons elected to the BOC board. We are not bashing any of them, but when you look at track and field, we are moving forward into the right direction."
Carey said that's one of the reasons why the BAAA was disappointed in the outcome of the election, along with sports like swimming and soccer, who also didn't have any members on the new board, headed by Rommel Knowles.
During the elections, Knowles moved up from the secretary general position to beat Sands 15-8 to replace Wellington Miller, who withdrew from seeking a third term in office as president due to the change in their constitution.
While the BAAA indicated that it was disappointed in the outcome, Sands has expressed the regret that he didn't get the support of the BAAA in his bid to become the new president.
But Carey said she heard the remarks, but want to point out that the BAAA only have one vote and he lost 15-8, so he it would be best for him to find why the others didn't vote for him.
"Rommel won 15-8. That's seven federations," she insisted. "We support our own. It's unfortunate that he wants to beat up on the federation, but the point is, seven other federations didn't vote for him."
Athletes' Positive Drug Testing
Prior to going to the IAAF World Championships in London, England in August, the BAAA got the news that one of its athletes tested positive for a banned substance from the IAAF World Relays here in April.
However, Carey said there is no further development because the athlete in question has made an appeal to the IAAF.
"The due process is underway, " she stated. "The IAAF have to complete their investigation before they can determine what will happen."
Until the investigation is completed, Carey said the athlete's name would remain unanimous.
Gardiner to go to Tribunal
The BAAA has decided to convene a tribunal to determine what happened at the IAAF World Championships in London where Steven Gardiner reclined to run in the heats of the men's 4 x 400 metre relay, two days after he won his silver medal in the men's 400m, as requested by head coach Dianne Johnson.
According to Carey, they commissioned the tribunal in the first week of October. Attorney Malcolm Adderley is in charge of the body. Members include Dr Julian Stuart, Dr Timothy Barrett and Rubyann Nottage.
"We have given them the guidelines and some deadlines, but we understand that they are still waiting to interview some people, including Steven Gardiner," Carey said.
After enjoying what she called 2017 a "wonderful year" in which the BAAA did a lot of things, Carey said they are eager looking forward to 2018.
"2018 is going to be a great year for us," she projected.
While there are a number of cross country championships being staged now, Carey said the first official track meet will be the Odd Distance Meet on Saturday, December 9 at the Thomas A. Robinson Track and Field Stadium.
The first major international meet will be the IAAF World Indoor Championships that will take place from March 2-4 in Birmingham, Great Britain.
That will be followed by the Carifta Games here from March 30 to April 2 and the Commonwealth Games, spearheaded by the BOC, from April 8-15 in the Gold Coast, Australia.
"We have a whole lot of athletes who are saying they want to compete, but before we send any athletes, we have told them that they will have to show their fitness," Carey stated.
"It's a long time from August to March, so they have to show fitness by running in at least two indoor meets before we can ratify you."
As for the Commonwealth Games, Carey said there is a stipulation for the athletes as well.
"We will have trials for the Commonwealth Games," she revealed. "It will be the same time that we have the Carifta trials. So it's not going to be a walk on the team for our athletes.
"Since this is going to be their first major outdoor meet, we are having the trials so that we, along with the BOC, can take a look at the athletes before they travel to the games. So if you want to compete at the Commonwealth Games, you will have to come home for the trials."
The Carifta and Commonwealth Games trials will take place from March 16-17 at the stadium.
The top regional junior track and field meet, first hosted here in 1976 and last staged here in 2013, will be back in the Bahamas for the eighth time (1978, 1981, 1984, 1992 and 2002), will be dubbed the Flow Carifta 2018 in honor of the late Dr Bernard Nottage.
On Thursday, March 29, the LOC will hold a Carifta Gala Ball at the Hilton Hotel in honor of Dr Nottage, a former president of the BAAA, who also played an active role in NACAC.
"We just signed the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with NACAC, who owns Carifta, officially giving us permission to host the games," she revealed.
"We want to thank the Government of the Bahamas for their support. We have gotten the support of the Prime Minister, Hubert Minns. We met with him and he is very enthusiastic about what we are doing. He's given the government's approval to host the games."
The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) headed by Carey, will have to come up with some $1.7 million to successfully host the games. She indicated that most of the persons who worked with the World Relays would be back to offer their services for the games.
The Games Village has been designed as Melia where the hotel is expected to accommodate athletes and officials from at least 26 countries from the NACAC and Caricom, some of whom are still trying to recover from the devastation left behind by the hurricane.
The BAAA will wait on the recommendations from the Bahamas Track and Field Coaches Association, headed by Shaun Miller, before a decision is made on the coaching staff for Team Bahamas.
Hike in Fee for Stadium
Carey said it's been brought to her attention that the National Sports Authority has increased the fees for clubs and organizations to use the original Thomas A. Robinson Stadium for the staging of their meets.
"We're going to make a concerted effort to have a conversation with the new chairman Vaughn Roberts (of the NSA)," she said. "I know several of the clubs have approached me because it's ludicrous what they want to charge the clubs to host their meets.
"The old stadium compared to the new stadium is just about the same in terms of the fee structure and we don't think it's fair. If we don't have these meets by the clubs, the kids won't get the meets to keep them sharp for the season ahead of them."
Election of Officers
As mandated by their constitution, the BAAA will go to the polls in Saturday, November 17, 2018 to elect its new slate of officers for the next four years.
"Everybody is gearing up because elections is in the air," Carey pointed out.
On whether or not she will be seeking another term, Carey said she's still "deliberating."