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IAAF World Relays still on

Guardian Sports Reporter

Published: Nov 25, 2013

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The Bahamas will still host the inaugural World Relays despite the internal problems of the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA), according to association President Mike Sands.

While noting that there is great concern from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), whose members are well aware of the controversy in the BAAA, Sands confirmed that the event will take place at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium May 24-25, 2014, and again in 2015.  He said nothing has changed and the people who were appointed to the various boards are working and preparing for the biggest relay meet in the world.  A meeting recently took place between the IAAF, Sands and Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr. Daniel Johnson.

There have been votes of no confidence and suspension in the organization based on a split in its board.

“It is embarrassing for the country to be placed in this position,” said Sands.

“I have been receiving calls from all over, including my friends in the region and, of course, the IAAF is aware of the situation and they are involved in it.  There have been communications with the IAAF on the matter.  There is no threat to The Bahamas at this juncture.  However, there is a level of concern and embarrassment.

“We are months away from the biggest sporting event in the country, and there are persons among us who choose to take a different path, for whatever reasons.  While they attempt to frustrate the situation, I can tell you that oftentime you might be discouraged but never deterred.

“The IAAF does not take very kindly for its members being placed before... the courts.  That is not a position they like to have.  As a matter of fact, the constitution speaks to the fact that any disputes should be done through arbitration, not the courts.”

On Saturday, at the start of what was supposed to be an annual general meeting, an injunction was presented and the meeting was stopped.  Even though this is the second injunction that has been issued concerning the organization, Sands said it is still preparing for the upcoming season and meets, including the World Relays.

He said: “Every organization has their internal issues.  The work of the BAAA continues.  We have not come to a stand still.  I hear people talking about the athletes being affected and other things are being affected.  While there might be some hindrance, the work of the BAAA continues.”

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