KINGSTON, Jamaica - Racers Track Club strongly refuted claims that they are paying athletes to leave MVP to jion their group.
On Wednesday, MVP in a statement said, "Unlike another Track Club in Jamaica, MVP does not pay our developmental athletes cash.
The statement continued: “Some of our former athletes have advised us that the other Track Club pays them cash monthly, in addition to providing them with accommodation in apartments off campus, among other enticements.”
However, on Thursday night, Glean Mills-coached Racers strongly refuted MVP’s claims saying, “Racers Track Club wishes to refute any insinuation of unfair practices in recruiting our athlete members.”
Racers, stressed the point that there’s no “offer of money to attract athletes to join our club”, and that the departed MVP athletes “approached Racers on their own initiative seeking membership.”
Racers also claimed, “There was, therefore, no need for enticement. No money was requested and none was offered. None of these athletes expressed a major concern with money. They all expressed a desire to get an opportunity to train in a supportive, communicative and participatory environment.”
Since May, at least six athletes, Ristananna Tracey, Darion Bent, Nicholas Maitland, Peter Matthews, Kimari Roach and Andre Wellington have departed the UTech-based training group for Racers Track Club, which has stars such as Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake.
Racers, however, said they do help their athletes “to keep body and soul together during hard times before they become celebrities and before they excite the attention of potential sponsors.”
Assistance, according to the release, comes in the form of financial support, which seeks to take care of basic living necessities, nutrition, accommodation and medical care. The Club said it also assists their young athletes as they continue their academic education.
“We make absolutely no apology for this. Racers is a professional athletic club. This fact is generally known. Athletes come to us with a desire to be molded into professional athletes. To be a professional athlete is to be someone who makes a living from athletics.”
In closing, Racers, who said they “remain committed to the development of athletes”, said most of those who join their group do so because “apart from our world-famous coaching expertise, they have heard about the caring and communicative family environment in which our athletes train, our attention to preventative and recuperative injury management, and our constant concern for the welfare of each and every one of our athlete members.”
MVP, in their release on Wednesday, admitted there are areas of concern within their group and thus would be moving to make corrections.
“We recognize and acknowledge that there are areas in which we can improve the general and specific methods of operation for our group and will continue a process of introspection and renewal, with the continued pursuit of building better Jamaican athletes.”