Oliver says no deal was cut to vote for any particular slate
Guardian Senior Reporter
Published: May 09, 2013
According to former secretary general of the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) Carl Oliver yesterday, no arrangements, agreements or deals were made with anyone or any slate in regard to the Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC) elections last month.
Oliver was reported to have ‘cut a deal’ to vote for a certain group of candidates seeking the vice president spots in the BOC elections. According to reports, former BAAA 1st Vice President Iram Lewis was one of them, but Oliver views those accusations against him as bitter talks coming from persons within the BAAA who sought nomination and a seat at the round table in the BOC.
“To tell you the truth, this whole thing came as a result of what happened in the BOC’s elections,” Oliver said yesterday. “Prior to the BOC elections, everything was fine. Both [BAAA President] Mike [Sands] and Pauline [Davis-Thompson] are bitter that they didn’t get the nomination. Pauline is actually accusing me, saying what we did is equivalent to treason. I was not given any instructions to vote for them. They approached me on the floor of the BOC elections and Mike said, ‘Carl you have to vote for Pauline and I’. I told him that I wasn’t given those instructions. He said, ‘Well I am the president of the BAAA and I am telling you to do that now’.
“I was a little disappointed because he wasn’t even nominated by us (BAAA). If him and Pauline wanted a vote from the BAAA when we had the executive meeting they should have said so. Mike didn’t show up (to the meeting) but Pauline was there. She got up and gave Iram a hug and said no matter what happens, I am going to support you. After the BOC elections, all of these issues unfolded saying I did this and that. It is unbelievable. I can guarantee you that if Pauline or Mike would have gotten in, along with Iram, it would have been a different story.”
According to Oliver, he followed every step and procedure. Oliver also noted that he spoke to Sands about the meeting but the president opted not to attend. He said that it was in Sands’ absence that the vote was cast in favor of Lewis to represent the BAAA on the BOC board, eight for Lewis and three for Sands. Davis-Thompson did not receive a vote.
Oliver added that a number of letters were sent via e-mail to Sands, all of which can be released to the public.
Sands confirmed that he and Davis-Thompson were nominated by other federations under the BOC’s umbrella.
“First of all, this is not about sour grapes but about principle,” said Sands. “It is not about Mike Sands being on the BOC or Pauline Davis being a member. They made reference to the fact that 11 members attended the meeting. It was the first time that more than one person in the BAAA had an interest in seeking the nomination, even though there was nothing to stop the three of us from collectively going, particular since we are the most pre-eminent body in the sporting organization.
“I requested that since there were three of us vying for a spot, I had asked for the general membership that would have included the council and the executives to discuss the process. I had asked them not to have the meeting since a number of executives were unable to attend the meeting. That is why I requested that the meeting be canceled. Even before that, when there was a quorum and I raised the issue of the BOC, they vehemently objected. Oliver in particular, I recall him getting up and saying no we can’t discuss that because it wasn’t on the agenda. I said to him that it was falling under other business, and as president I can bring it under that. Unbeknownst to me and the membership at that time, they had already arranged and agreed to be on the slate of president (Wellington) Miller. That is why there were very strong objections. Despite the fact that I said let us postpone the meeting, they called it even though we didn’t have all the members present. They decided to make phone calls to their supporters to make sure that they had a quorum and had the meeting. It was at that meeting they decided that Iram would represent the BAAA. They had a meeting against the wishes of the office of the president. Mr. Oliver, Mr. Petty and Mr. Lewis made arrangements with the BOC which we found out after the elections, that they were on a slate.”
According to reports reaching Guardian Sports, a meeting was called with the executive members of the BAAA, the BOC and the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr. Daniel Johnson. No verdict was released on the matter, up to press time.