JAAA war has started

Latest commentary about the MVP group is by Danny McFarlane.
He said they need to punish the ringleader (Franno) and not the athletes cause JAAA has to do something cause he heard from alot of athletes that if nothing happens to these people, they sure as hell wouldn’t show up next time!
Some defence of JAAA!
The JAAA camp was such shit, every one there felt victimized and NO ONE would go unless threatened.
We already know that the relays weren’t sorted out there because VCB was at the camp but didn’t know she wasn’t on anchor till right before the finals! (she wasn’t notified that the camp was mandatory either)
That leaves only one point for the camp: For JAAA to claim credit for the success of others and generate a trip for cronies and hangers-on.

BY KAYON RAYNOR Senior staff reporter raynork@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, September 05, 2009

THE Jamaica Amateur Athletics Association (JAAA) yesterday hosted a press conference at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel intended to clarify, inform and redefine its own image after the anarchy which rocked the country’s record-breaking team at the just-concluded 12th IAAF World Championships of Athletics in Berlin, Germany.

However, after the nearly two-hour-long press conference, the general view was that there was no further clarity or information on the substantive issues relating to any written proof that the six athletes of the MVP track club who missed Jamaica’s mandatory six-day pre-World Championships camp in Nuremberg, Germany were duly notified.

Under pic: President of the Jamaica Amateur Athletics Association (JAAA) Howard Aris (left) points to a copy of a communiqué which was exchanged between the IAAF and the JAAA’s dealing with Whereabouts Information for all team members ahead of the World Championships in Berlin, during a press conference yesterday at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston. Grace Jackson, the 200m silver medallist from the 1988 Olympic Games, now first vice-president of the JAAA, looks on. (Photo: Bryan Cummings)

“We are here for several reasons… one is to clarify, to inform and the other is to try to redefine our own image because people have sought to redefine us and we can’t allow that to happen,” Howard Aris, president of the JAAA, said.

Aris supplied a press kit comprising five documents said to be correspondence between his organisation, uniform sponsors PUMA and newspaper articles referring to the camp being mandatory. A copy of the JAAA’s selection criteria was also supplied.

But no evidence was presented concerning MVP’s head coach Stephen Francis and/or the athletes concerned being notified in writing by the JAAA’s that the camp was indeed mandatory.

“You’re referring to the e-mail that was sent by Cathy Rattray. You’d like a copy of that. I don’t have one,” answered Aris after being quizzed by journalists.

“I’ll tell you why it may not have been here and I didn’t prepare for it, but let me tell you a possibility. You have something called a document of relevance and in the historical build-up of camps going back to when I was one of the coaches in Munich in 1972 at the Olympic Games, camps had been a standard for the Olympic Games and World Championships, from ever since, and therefore the possible assumption was that it was not necessary to produce that because that would only be a reminder,” Aris added.

The Observer was later yesterday furnished with two e-mailed communiqués, dated July 27 and July 30, from the JAAA’s Rattray to athletes, informing them of the date, time and address of the mandatory camp in Nuremberg, as well as seeking from the athletes their travel arrangements to Nuremberg, so that transportation to the camp could be arranged.

However, there was no evidence of this e-mail to specific athletes.

The six athletes who missed the camp were Shelly-Ann Fraser, Melaine Walker, Brigitte Foster-Hylton, Asafa Powell, Shericka Williams and Kaleise Spencer. Their absence prompted Aris and the JAAA to take steps to have them withdrawn from the championships.

However, the IAAF intervened and the athletes were allowed to compete by the national association, which indicated at the time that sanctions could follow after the championships.

Jamaica ended the championships with a record 13 medals, comprising seven gold, four silver and two bronze. All of the six athletes in question contributed to the nation’s medal tally. Fraser won the 100m and shared in the 4x100 gold, Walker won the 400m hurdles, Foster-Hylton won the 100m hurdles, Powell won bronze in the 100m and shared in the 4x100 gold, Williams won silver in the 400m and shared in the 4x400 relay silver, while Spencer also shared in the mile-relay silver.

Yesterday, Aris reiterated that his executive was awaiting the report from the management team, which in turn could be forwarded to the JAAA’s independent disciplinary panel. The three-member panel, which was chosen in January, is chaired by former Chief Justice Lensley Wolfe. The other members are former Attorney General Winston Spaulding and former Chief of Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force Major General John Simmonds.

“As is customary, it depends on when the team comes back and when the management has some time to consult the other team members and coaches, because coaches sometimes are involved in the preparation of it. So traditionally, it usually takes about two to three weeks before returning to Jamaica and having it ready for the executive,” Aris offered yesterday.

“Once it goes to the executive, the executive will look at it and take a decision, and if it is necessary for it to go to the (disciplinary) panel, it will then go,” he added.

Pressed to disclose the possible sanctions that the panel could impose on the athletes, Aris replied: “They (disciplinary panel) are being guided by the rules of the IAAF and the JAAA’s constitution. That’s their guide.”


So you hold a press conference to say nothing because the only pertinent document- if there ever was one- just isn’t there.
Aris fumbled around, ducking and dodging press questions by talking about when he was a coach in 1972. (Say what??)
1: If the Cathy Rattray doc was sent out to the athletes (July 27th??), it should be easy to produce a copy with the e-mail address of ONE SINGLE ATHLETE which could be verified.
Aris held a press conference but didn’t produce what he says was done. What does that say about his credibility?
2: There IS proof the Franno’s camp worked for the MVP medallists. There is NO PROOF that the results could have been duplicated at the JAAA camp. In fact, there is every likelihood that the results would have been worse.
3: Aris trotted out a whereabouts document to cast doping aspersions on MVP, once again ducking the fact that only JAA athletes have tested positive-- so far.
Already, Nick Davies of the IAAF has released a statement, putting a lie to this, and making it clear that the whereabouts of the MVP athletes was in the IAAF’s possession at all times this year.
Aris has tried again, no doubt to try to deflect attention from the doping hearings there, and I guess the IAAF will now have to re-release its statement.

well he’ll struggle now that Yohan Blake, Marvin Anderson, Allodin Fothergill and Lansford Spence have fessed up!

There is a great article in the Jamaica Gleaner by AW Sangster (Officialdom and the Athletes)on the JAA and it’s long history of cronyism and incompetence over decades. Can someone post it here??

It is massive, but:

Officialdom and the athletes

Published: Sunday | September 6, 2009

A. W. Sangster, Contributor

There has been a series of incidents at the recently concluded IAAF World Championships in Berlin which are very disturbing. The continued poor relationship between the Jamaica Amateur Athletic Association (JAAA) and the MVP Club continues, and in the long run the athletes suffer. There is a long history in Jamaican track and field athletics of athletes suffering at the hands of officials through inefficiency, poor administration, injustice, plain vindictiveness and eventual cover-up.

The following are some examples.

1968 Mexico Olympics. The games started off on the wrong foot with the national flag being carried by Herbert McDonald, the president of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA). Many athletes, including Michael Fray, protested in the stands and did not join the parade. Team captain Clifton Forbes was left to try and settle the upset. The sprint relay team of Forbes, Fray, Miller and Stewart broke the world record in the heats though they did not medal. No recognition came their way from the Machado/Carreras Sports Foundation until this was corrected many years later.

1976 Montreal Olympics. Michael Fray qualified and was selected to go but head coach Herb McKenley let it be known that if Fray went he would not go. JAAA president Richard Ashenheim surrendered to the ultimatum, arguing that Jamaica’s chances of a sprint relay medal were poor. This was very surprising with a team of Quarrie (100 and 200m medallist), Miller, Fray and Bradford.

1980 Moscow Olympics. The experience of Anthony Davis, who was one of two locally trained athletes to make the team, was documented in a report by a number of athletes at the games when he was bypassed for an ailing Bertland Cameron, who broke down shortly after starting the relay. It was all about the recognition of sponsors. Nothing came of the protest letter signed by several members of the team.

1984 Los Angeles. After the games the papers were full of the ‘Shoe War’ at the games in which the women’s relay team was changed on the basis of whose sponsor’s shoes were being worn. There were many protests at the time, including that of Grace Jackson, and the media called for an enquiry. The Minister of Sport at the time, Ed Bartlett, called for an enquiry and a howl went up about politics interfering in sport. No enquiry was held by either the JAAA or the JOA. One result was an attempt by one of the officials at the LA Games to organise a slate to contest the next JAAA elections. The upstarts were wiped out and the old guard remained.

2000 Sydney Olympics. The move to replace Peta-Gay Dowdie by Merlene Ottey brought forth placard-bearing protest by Jamaican athletes, which led to the threatened banning of the team by the organisers. We never did hear: was Peta -Gay sick or was she just being ‘replaced’ by the Merlene Ottey star?

2008 Beijing Olympics. The issue of the ‘camp’ surfaced for the first time in recent history and it was the intervention of a leading Jamaican banker which helped to keep the team together. A new name had come on the scene. The athletes of the MVP Club with coach Stephen Francis performed in spectacular fashion, along with Usain Bolt, coached by Glen Mills.

Before turning to the Berlin IAAF Championships some comment needs to be made on the quite fundamental changes that have taken place in athletics. Essentially, the rules of the game have changed and there is a new operational paradigm. Some of the historical changes are the following.

The amateur status of athletes: Initially, athletes competed for individual glory and for the country that they represented. Prizes could be awarded but no money was to be paid to the winners in the early days of track and field athletics.

The move to professionalism meant that winners gained handsome rewards and there were, in some cases gold bars to be won for a series of events. Million-dollar rewards are now in the offing.

The role of agents, managers and professional coaches: These positions have all come about with the professionalism of the athletes. The complexity of the athletics calendar requires a battery of support persons who organise schedules for athletes, make contact with the various meet directors to get their athletes into a particular event and help to manage their money.

With the greater knowledge of the science and technology of the sport, the coach’s role has also changed dramatically. The coach has been elevated to playing the role of a highly trained individual who is knowledgeable about anatomy and physiology, the care of injuries, the science and technology of each sport, diet, biochemistry and energy, on doping rules and the use of drugs. He or she has also to be a psychiatrist and counsellor and with extensive international connections.

The role of the sponsors: Sport is a billion-dollar business and the various sporting sponsors - Nike, Adidas, Puma, etc - all wish to have a particular successful athlete in their fold. Many athletes have made a successful career in the world of athletics through sponsorship. In fact, the new reality is that success with sponsorship is critical to survival.

The world governing bodies. With a great deal at stake in the holding of these international events, the successful planning and organisation is critical. Television stations vie for the right to carry the programme. Sponsors are at hand to support and have their names emblazoned on the sports venues and fields. The world body wants a good show with the best of performers.

We can now understand the role of the IAAF President Lamine Diack in “persuading” JAAA President Howard Aris and IAAF regional representative Teddy McCook to withdraw the banning of the MVP athletes from the Berlin Games. He read them a multimillion-dollar balance sheet. To quote IAAF general secretary, Pierre Weiss, “We want to assure the quality of the Championships.”

This raises another matter: The pre-event camp and the Athletes Village. An understanding of these two items is important.

The pre-event camp which stirred the controversy in Berlin is a pre-event place for the athletes to mix and mingle before the village opens. The camp is selected on the basis of bids by cities and towns for the privilege of hosting the national team. The camp was held in the city of Nuremberg. Jamaica, which has become more famous in recent times, would be a prime country to have in your town or city. There are, of course, perks to the country whose athletes go to the city. Then there are the questions of the overall suitability of the camp and the facilities available for the last days before the competition, and the national requirement for all athletes to attend the camp.

There is also the question of these critical days before the event being under the care of the individual coach. This has been the issue raised by Francis, who has been using a site in Italy with first-class facilities for the past several years, which is perfect for him and his athletes. The question that has now to be raised is the statement that Birmingham has been selected by the JAAA for the pre-London Olympics in 2012. Are those facilities ideal, and what have the terms been for the selection?

The Games Village, which opens some days before the event, is a fully equipped facility provided by the IAAF through its national (German) partner in the games. There is adequate time for mixing and mingling and for relay practice. Francis’ athletes were there.

We return to Berlin and the JAAA performance. The JAAA operation and management at the 2009 IAAF Championships, Berlin. The JAAA performance has left a lot to be desired as far as the athletes were concerned, and Tony Becca in his column in The Gleaner on August 30 described the JAAA leadership in Berlin as being weak and unprofessional. Some of the concerns are:

  1. The positive drug test of the five athletes. The long delays in processing the test and the appeal by the JADCO have complicated the matter in the public’s minds. The statement by Professor Errol Morrison, the head of JADCO, that it was for the benefit of the athletes that the process was challenged indicates serious flaws in the overall review process. There was a great deal of confusion in the public’s minds, and the decision by the JAAA to send the athletes who had this question mark over their drug status was at best unfortunate. It is obvious that the JAAA were clearly hoping that they would have been able to take part in Berlin. The four local athletes were all members of a local track club.

  2. The men’s sprint relay team. Relay teams are allowed substitutes and it is clear that the planning for this event left a lot to be desired. It is also clear that the team management obviously hoped that some of the drug-tested group would be able to run. With both Bolt and Powell being rested and the drug-test group not being able to participate, the team for the heats was a shaky second eleven. The stark reality is that had the German team not dropped the baton the Jamaican team would not likely have made the final. Bolt would have been denied his third gold medal!

  3. Steve Mullings missed the medal ceremony. First, we were told that Mullings was ill, and subsequently the story was told that he missed the bus and was late. Which do we believe?

  4. There has been a great deal of controversy on Veronica Campbell-Brown’s withdrawing from the sprint relay. There are several issues to consider:

The team management has the right and authority to assign the team members and the positions and the legs that they will run. Veronica, as a veteran curve runner, had no authority to state that she would only run the anchor leg which had been practised at the camp. The situation had changed with the team members and it was sad that she “walked away”. She ended up by accusing the JAAA of being “unprofessional”.

Shelly-Ann Fraser (local of MVP) and Kerron Stewart (overseas university) both were recovering from injury problems and would be better placed in the straights rather than the curve legs (1 and 3).

Where the JAAA erred is in failing to communicate in sympathetic terms with Veronica in spite of an offer which was made to try and heal the breach. It was again an arrogant take-it-or-leave-it position and, according to Veronica, a decision communicated to her 90 minutes before the race.

It is to Veronica’s credit that she said that the team was doing well and that since she was not going to run the anchor leg she did not want to upset their chances.

  1. The threat to exclude the MVP athletes. The camp issue has already been discussed and, by extension, the question has to be asked: Who would have been hurt by the exclusion of the MVP athletes? Clearly the athletes and, by extension, Jamaica’s performance. It is interesting to note the following quite remarkable performances of these athletes.

Individually: 3 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze medals.

In relays having: Members of the teams that won 2 gold and 1 silver medal.

Winning 50 per cent of the individual medals won by Jamaicans.

It is also clear that the inner-city communities of Waterhouse with Shelly-Ann Fraser, and Maxfield Avenue with Melaine Walker, would have viewed the elimination of ‘their’ athlete with great disfavour.

It is said that an enquiry is to be held on the coach and the athletes. This should be welcomed, provided it is a public enquiry and not some hidden in camera event.


Jamaica missed out on a glorious opportunity to do Jamaican business and promotion at the games. First, ministers Ed Bartlett and ‘Babsy’ Grange and tourism mogul John Lynch missed out on the potential for serious promotion of Jamaican products and Destination Jamaica. This was to capitalise on the Bolt phenomenon and the Jamaica performance in coming second in the medals table. It is not too late to capitalise on the Bolt mania and use ‘Butch’ Stewart’s suggestion of asking Usain to be the spokesman in a commercial about Jamaica.

Second, the JAAA administration, dominated by the KC old boys, has proved itself to be a self-serving organisation with crowds of delegates being accredited as friends and hangers-on to the KC label. In seeking to discredit Stephen Francis, it embarrassed itself and Jamaica, and Francis has in turn viewed their attitude with contempt and simply ignored them. In addition, there have been serious errors listed above. There has to be a way forward.

  1. The JAAA has to recognise that there is a new game in town, as outlined above. The arrogant attitude of not recognising the new paradigm has no constructive future. There needs to be greater flexibility in the national interest on issues such as camp requirements, registration, etc. The JAAA is also due for serious house-cleaning.

  2. Government and the sponsoring private sector have to recognise the significant shift that has occurred in the training of athletes. Seventy per cent of the gold medal-winning athletes were locally trained. This is where the support should now be directed.

  3. There is need for healing and reconciliation of those who have been hurt in Berlin.

Perhaps the two coaching giants - Francis and Mills - could begin the forward movement as it is clear that new blood and new attitudes are needed.

So we have come full circle: from Michael Fray in Mexico and Montreal, Peta-Gay Dowdie in Sydney, Anthony Davis in Moscow and Veronica Campbell-Brown in Berlin - the saga continues.

It’s a shame a nice article like the above to have a subject like that as its ‘inspiration’…

Excellent, well-reasoned document: Miracle that in these days any newspaper in the world found the space to run it in its entirety. Well done “The Gleaner”.

This article brings up the key point in the argument.
Camps with Jamaican athletes generate money from whoever can host them and forcing athletes to attend ensures money for the cronies. That’s what it’s really all about and you can be sure money has changed hands already!
Into whose pockets?
Preparation? Team spirit? With this bunch? Give me a break!
We know relay prep had nothing to do with the camp cause they were making up the team 90 minutes before the race!

I saw this a few days ago. For thos who have not seen this yet:




From Veronica Campbell-Brown’s IAAF diary:
"… Prior to settling in the German capital for the World Championships, team Jamaica had its camp in Herzogenarauch or “Herzog” :confused: as it is commonly referred.

“Incidentally, it was in Herzog as well that Jamaica had its pre-Olympic camp in 2004. With minimal distractions, it is quite useful a place to prepare. …"

“… I did not participate in the 4x100m and a lot has been made of that, incorrectly I might add. I have however put that aspect of Berlin behind me except to say that my boundless devotion to Jamaica should never be questioned and I am happy Jamaica won the 4x100m being especially glad for “Simmy” and Kerron winning their first ever senior global gold medals. …”

It may be a useful place, but that isn’t the point. Why must athletes be separated from their own coaches who got them there? If this can’t or won’t be arranged, they should stay out.
I had many examples of this in my own early career- getting athletes back with lower than expected results and changes to their technique at the lasty second etc- even once getting someone back with their feet reversed in the blocks.
After a short while a policy was put in place by Gerrard that the coaches of team athletes needed to be there above all others. Of course, at the first opportunity, this policy was overturned cause looser coaches would never make teams otherwise.
Can you imagine a scenario where Steven Francis is not a team coach when half the team are with him??

I fully understand what you are saying and agree.

DUH can’t believe I missed this before, Herzogenarauch is where JAAA’s principal sponsor Puma is based so I expect there will have been some nice social functions arranged at the same time.

(EDIT: Charlie,) I fully understand what you are saying and agree! I was just surprised by the name of the place mentioned by VCB (“the home of the sporting goods companies Adidas and Puma”, of course, no?). But then I realised it’s 23 km northwest of Nuremberg, so… Back to some geography lessons, I hate geography and it shows!

Yes, John, that’s what I realised, too, while looking up the place out of curiosity… And of Adidas for VCB. :cool:


Page last updated at 22:14 GMT, Monday, 14 September 2009 23:14 UK

Jamaicans given three-month ban

Blake (right) and 100m world record holder Usain Bolt are training partners
Four Jamaican athletes have been suspended for three months after admitting taking a banned substance.

The four are sprinters Yohan Blake, Marvin Anderson, Allodin Fothergill and Lansford Spence.

Each tested positive in samples taken at the Jamaican National Championships in June this year.

Commonwealth 100m champion Sheri-Ann Brooks also tested positive but this was thrown out because her B sample was tested without her knowledge.

Doctor Patrece Charles-Freeman, executive director of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (Jadco), accepted Monday’s ruling from Justice Ransford Langrin, who chaired the Jamaica Anti-Doping Appeal Tribunal.

“I think the Appeal Tribunal understood the case and their decision was a fair one,” said Charles-Freeman.

Give your reaction to the three month bans given to the Jamaican athletes
Relay runners Blake, Fothergill, Spence and Anderson as well as Brooks were withdrawn by Jamaica from the World Championships in Berlin last month.

All five athletes tested positive for methylxanthine at Jamaica’s championships which ran from 26-28 June, but were initially cleared by a disciplinary panel on the basis the substance was not on the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) banned list.

But Jadco then appealed against the verdict stating the substance had a similar structure to tuaminoheptane, a banned stimulant according to Wada.

Blake, who won bronze in the 100m at the world junior championships in 2006, is Olympic champion Bolt’s training partner and has recorded the fifth-fastest time over 100m this year.

Anderson is also a 100m runner, while Fothergill and Spence compete in the 400m.

complete and utter bullshit!

Jamaica Track & Field: Berlin reports crucial to closure

Posted by admin on Oct 10th, 2009 and filed under Inside Track

By Orville Higgins,
Sports Vibes broadcast on KLAS Sports Radio on Friday, Oct 9, 2009.

It is understood that the manager’s reports are now in from the Berlin Games. To date we haven’t heard a peep from the JAAA about what impact these reports have had or exactly what course of action they are going to take. For a topic that was ‘ all the rage’ a few weeks ago, this one now looks likely to slip below the radar. Or wouldn’t it?

I am among those who have a real interest in seeing how this one will pan out. It seems to me that the JAAA cannot allow the manager’s report to slip away quietly, a lot is riding on this report, the JAAA are almost obligated to make much of it.

The hierarchy of the JAAA made the serious decision of trying to send home six MVP athletes from the Games. They insisted at that time that they were well within their rights to do so. The two parties have different views on how communication was made between them – stating whether the camp was mandatory or not. The manager’s report should shed some light on this issue, one way or another.

The issue of Veronica Campbell-Brown’s refusal to run in the relays must also come up in that ‘management’s’ report. Or wouldn’t it?

I remember talking to Donald Quarrie after the Games and he made it clear that he felt Veronica had behaved less than exemplary – although he did say that he wouldn’t be pursuing the matter.

At that time, something about that statement seemed a little strange to me. I couldn’t understand why the technical director of a country’s athletics team was accepting the fact that an athlete under his charge stepped out of line but wasn’t interested in seeing that athlete face punishment.

I felt at the time that irrespective of how you feel about a person representing Jamaica at the highest level, you were duty-bound to see them face sanctions for indiscretions they had committed, especially a situation as serious as; directly refusing to compete for the country. Not taking actions will lead to several implications which could come back to haunt us down the road. Mr. Quarrie’s report on that issue is therefore crucial.

I didn’t think much about it then, but now I wonder. Can a manager pick and choose what he puts in a report, or is he duty-bound to report on all the issues, especially the more fundamental ones?

If you had listened to Donald Quarrie’s interviews and read what he was saying at the time, it was clear he thought Veronica was wrong by refusing to run but he was clearly not too keen on seeing her punished. Can his report now just omit that particular incident? Can his report now put a different spin to what he was telling us at the time? Can a private report differ from your public utterances and still be considered credible?

The JAAA have said that they will read the manager’s reports carefully and then decide from these reports whether the MVP athletes will face a disciplinary committee or not. They have said that it is not automatic that the athletes will face sanctions but from where I sit they have no choice, they must pursue a course of action against the athletes who were supposedly in breach. The very least that has to happen is that the athletes must face a disciplinary panel.

This disciplinary panel may well rule that there should be no sanctions against the athletes, but that’s not the point. The real story is this – if they don’t face a disciplinary panel, then the JAAA’s will be seriously embarrassed. They must have a disciplinary committee handing out some kind of ruling. If not, it is going to be obvious that they were too hasty and too keen to take the actions they did in Berlin. I repeat. The manager’s reports are crucial in deciding the fate of those athletes and then again, the managers’ report might not even matter.

Let’s put this all in perspective. The JAAA were convinced that the athletes clearly breached their rules by not attending the supposedly mandatory camp and they were prepared to kick them off the team at that time.

This means, regardless of what is in those reports, they must put these people in front of a panel, to justify their actions in Berlin or they should come out and apologize to the MVP people for trying to throw them off the team.

Will the ‘feel-good’ vibes of performing in Berlin mean that the JAAA’s should forget about this whole thing? Should that matter?

If they’re smart, they’ll try to make the whole thing disapear but no one has accused JAAA of that.
We’ve seen what happens in the past when two rival groups enter an all-out war.