Jonathan Edwards Supports Yamile Aldama


Athletics: Edwards jumps to Aldama’s aid
By David Martin
22 July 2003

The Olympic triple jump champion, Jonathan Edwards, has expressed his disbelief that the women’s world No 1 in the discipline, Yamile Aldama, may be denied a place at next month’s World Championships because of a citizenship wrangle.

The Cuban-born Aldama is seeking a British passport but her situation is complicated by the fact that she is divorcing her Scottish husband. She has also been told by the International Association of Athletics Federations that she would be able to compete at next month’s showpiece event in Paris only if she did so under the banner of Cuba.

“I think it is a disgrace Aldama is being denied the opportunity to compete in the World Championships,” said Edwards. “Surely the IAAF can find a solution. Effectively by preventing her competing they are stopping her earning a living. If she were to win the world title it would mean her getting $60,000 (£37,000). It is not right she should be denied the chance.”

Aldama’s husband is serving a 15-year jail sentence for drug offences, and she is planning a divorce. Under current rules, even though married to a British citizen and has a son Amil, she is still not eligible for a UK passport.