Thema Williams’ hopes of circumventing her controversial deselection from the Rio 2016 Olympic Test event, at the hands of the Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastic Federation (TTGF), were a sliver to begin with.
They look even thinner now, as it appears that the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) is not eligible to plead her case to the IOC’s Tripartite Commission.
Williams’ legal team, which is headed by Keith Scotland and Dr Emir Crowne, said last Wednesday that they would press the TTOC to petition the Tripartite Commission, which might have been the best chance of inserting the 20 year old gymnast into the August Olympics.
However, it has since emerged that the TTOC might be ineligible to attempt that route, according to a clause in the Allocation Procedure and Regulations of the Tripartite Commission, which, under “NOC (National Olympic Commission) Eligibility” states that: “Invitation Places can only be allocated to NOCs with an average of eight or less athletes (athlete quota places) in individual sports/disciplines at the last two editions of the Olympic Games (Beijing and London).”
Just Trinidad and Tobago’s 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams in the past two Olympics—10 members in Beijing and 11 in London—alone exceed that number, without even considering the TTOC’s other field athletes, swimmers, cyclists and so forth.
Not to mention the fact that the Tripartite Commission already handed in its list of invited gymnasts for the Rio Games on Tuesday April 26, which was a day before Williams’ press conference. Those names were only made public by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) on Thursday April 28.
Panamanian Isabella del Carmen Amado was awarded a spot on what may be the final list for the Rio Olympics women’s artistic gymnastics event.
As it turns out, the TTOC, almost certainly, would have been unable to approach the IOC on Williams’ behalf anyway.
Yesterday, FIG Secretary General André Gueisbuhler made it clear that, as far as the international body was concerned, Williams had no chance.
“Since the qualification place earned by Marisa Dick is nominative,” stated Gueisbuhler, “no name change or replacement is possible.”
It means the only option left for Williams—in theory—would appear to be an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). However, according to one legal source, it would be “extraordinary”, if CAS lobbied the IOC for inclusion for an athlete.
Williams can still seek redress against the TTGF. But her chances of overturning the local body’s controversial decision to pull her from the Olympics looks desperately slim.
The TTGF is comprised of: president David Marquez, general secretary Elicia Peters-Charles, first vice president Akil Wattley, second vice president, Ricardo Lue Shue, treasurer Susanne Babooram and Lue Shue’s wife, Donna Lue Shue, who serves as assistant treasurer.
The TTOC’s games management committee of Annette Knott, Ian Hypolite, Diane Henderson and Dr Terry Ali meets the TTGF at midday today. Because of the volatility of the matter, it is likely that TTOC president Brian Lewis will also be in attendance.
“When the games management committee meets, there will be a particular checklist they will go through,” said Lewis, in a previous interview. “They will check things like athlete eligibility, age requirements, the qualification standard established by FIG…
“The process under which an alternate could change…”
The TTOC has promised a ruling by Monday on whether or not it will take up its sole gymnastics spot at the Rio Olympics Games.
The next 48 hours will be nerve-wracking for Williams and Dick.
Should the TTOC decline the FIG spot at the Olympics, Azerbaijan gymnast Marina Nekrasova will go to Rio de Janeiro in Trinidad and Tobago’s place.
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I hear you Derek
Please read the rules. Tripartite nations must have applied by January 15 of this year, and even had T&T applied by that time, they wouldn’t have been eligible because the rule clearly states that those eligible for the tripartite spot must have had fewer than 8 athletes representing the country at the past two Olympic Games. T&T had 30 athletes in 2012.
Hanifa A. A. Peters this will not happen the only thing people does come together in this country is to only make negative remarks why isn’t the minister of sport saying anything why outsiders is it the Olympics are racist I wonder if thema was white and dick was black do you think they would have choose a Trini ? I am not a racist but something is wrong here
Wonder if the TTOC have the cohones to say NO to both. No doubt this was a well planned coup to cheat Thema her chance of qualifying for the Olympics and Ms Dick may well go. Hope she, her mom,the TTGF especially Lie Shue sleep well at night knowing the injustice they have done to Thema. Hope they at least get a judgement against the TTGF. SMDH!
Come on people let our voices be heard… NoThema no T&T rep Marisa most not represent T&T…
If so, I hope the TTOC has the balls to make a decision that send a message to all who do whatever is in their power to subvert what is fair and right and push their own agenda. No Thema = NOBODY. #teamthema
Tomorrow the TTOC gives it decision on who represents TT in Rio. If the FIG says Ms Dick is their only nominee, can the TTOC say otherwise? If not, then why are they holding a big press conference? To say what they can only say?
I hope I am correct in thinking that the TTOC has THE FINAL say in who goes to RIO to represent TT.
As a national of TT I choose Thema! I do not want Ms. Dick to represent me.
Go Thema! Keep training! Keep dreaming!
Thema or nobody ! Marisa and her mother have no class . We will not support you cause youre a trap !
Lue Shue really did surround himself with a team of influential people. Check out Frances Dow’s FIG creds:
Here she calls Dick “my girl” under a comment on Dick’s profile pic
Right now smells like the 1973 T&T football team…scored 5 goals but lose 2-1… the morally correct may not prevail.but I will wait to see if the correct or convenient decision will be made….
How does Ms. Dick qualify under the Olympics Charter to represent TT when in 2014 she competed in the Canadian Nationals (as a national of Canada).
This does not seem to be allowed under the Bye-Law to Rule 41 of the Olympic Charter:
41 Nationality of competitors*
1. Any competitor in the Olympic Games must be a national of the country of the NOC
which is entering such competitor.
2. All matters relating to the determination of the country which a competitor may
represent in the Olympic Games shall be resolved by the IOC Executive Board.
Bye-law to Rule 41
1. A competitor who is a national of two or more countries at the same time may represent
either one of them, as he may elect. However, after having represented one country in the
Olympic Games, in continental or regional games or in world or regional championships
recognised by the relevant IF, he may not represent another country unless he meets the
conditions set forth in paragraph 2 below that apply to persons who have changed their
nationality or acquired a new nationality.
2. A competitor who has represented one country in the Olympic Games, in continental
or regional games or in world or regional championships recognised by the relevant
IF, and who has changed his nationality or acquired a new nationality, may participate
in the Olympic Games to represent his new country provided that at least three years
have passed since the competitor last represented his former country. This period may
be reduced or even cancelled, with the agreement of the NOCs and IF concerned, by
the IOC Executive Board, which takes into account the circumstances of each case.
She was part of Team Alberta for this competition. Not Team Canada. So represented the province she lived in, not Canada, in a battle between the Canadian provinces.
Marisa was never talented enough to be on Team Canada.
Oh great. We take leftovers now.
What examples ppl r setting for d future generations! Smh
Ppl r evil in different forms and fashion!
No Thema? Well then everybody stay home. Let’s go Azerbaijan!
The public awareness should pressure them more.
It boils down to legal arguments more than emotion now I think.
Exactly she is in good hands.
I want to c if any one of those ppl have any integrity!
They are all a bunch of wimps.
If the TTOC making their decision Monday it’s over for her.
The TTGF must not be allowed to win this battle. Sorry….if the TTOC independently decides to send Dick ..based on all that is out in the public domain…. and no money ain’t pass nowhere…a lot of people will be disgusted.
Well if hope is gone for Thema….the next chant is “Let’s go Azerbaijan! ..let’s go!!”
To be honest, Thema’s chances of going, were always unlikely. What 99.9% of the interested persons in the country want, is the TTOC standing on principle and saying that nobody goes.
TTOC must sanction TTGF.
It’s not over till its over.
Sorry Thema.we may look at it as a big disappointment but God in His infinite wisdom knows why.let’s look to see what great things He has planned for your future.
Hey all is not lost. There is still hope.
TTOC has exeeded that minimum in the last OG, the clause is designed for NOC, that dont stand a chance of qualifying. Marissas spot is a qualified spot, not an invitational one. Invitational spots are unattached from performance….. there are only very few per sport in OG Triathlon i thing has 3 per gender for the entire world… i guess Gymnastics probably the same…
If Marisa’s spot is a qualified spot, what would be an invitational spot in gymnastics?
An invitational spot might go to a gymnast who was supposed to go to Event but could not travel because a civil war just broke out in her country. As an extreme example.
every NOC/NF of the world has the right to apply to a invitational spot…. those are totally independedend from qualifiers…. however there are some rules attached how to be eligible for one….. NOC that have large Teams anyways like USA, Germany etc… doh even need to think about it…
An invitational spot is offered when your country has failed to qualify an athlete by the highest qualification standard. So in a sport like swimming, there are A and B qualifying standards. If nobody has made an A qualifying time but ppl have made B qualifying times, you can get invited.
I thought the rio qualifier was the invitation for these gymnasts once they made the minimum in qualifying score. Hence Marisa can come 55th out of 61 ppl and still qualify. And hence the reason it’s only one spot for the country.
there is a backdoor…lol but you right rule usually says once one qualified no one can get invited from what i know…
TTOC should decline the spot.
Not understanding the relevance of that NOC clause… Cause by Olympic standards, the spot that Marisa has doesn’t qualify as an invitation spot?
The Tripartite Commission only considers special cases from NOCs that meet a particular criteria. Marisa Dick doesn’t need Tripartite consideration.
But there is backdoor route through this Commission for Thema Williams.
It doesn’t affect Marisa at all. But it means Thema cannot use it.
Still not following. Lol.
You’re saying the hope was that the tripartite commission would allow Thema to compete in addition to Marisa?
Yes thats what he is saying…
and on top TTOC may leave Marissa home…
Why would anybody allow us to have two athletes at the Olympics when we only had one spot?
The Tripartite Commission is set up for exceptional circumstances. The hope was that Thema’s case would qualify as exceptional.
But the clause still doesn’t make sense as a reason for not hearing the case.
Because a country has 8 athletes or whatever the number is in one sport, it doesn’t mean the country can’t have an invitation spot in another sport. It’s if the country has 8 or whatever the number is in the same sport.
Well I really didn’t know that’s what they were hoping the tripartite commission would do. Just give the country an additional spot. At the Olympics.
Actually it does…. they will look at overall not just sport specific…
I was suprised to read of the Triparte as an option in the first place…. never thought that as a viable option…
the only ones that can fix this is FIG voluntarily to re-nominate Thema (seems unlikely right now) or CAS strongarming FIG to do the above…..
there some issues with that too and i feel if TTOC rejects the slot on Monday that will not help this process…
Ok. Well maybe it works that way. Kirwin Weston… Something I didn’t know. ?
You’re right about the Monday announcement Andreas. It is left to be seen if Thema’s attorneys will ask for more time. But that request will have to be based on something concrete.
The argument would be that Thema should have been at the qualifier in the first place, was removed in breach of rules and procedures AND (Thats the if i’d say) WOULD also have qualified if she’d started….
well they have a whole week again… why do pressconference on Monday…?
AGM going on right now…
This is confusing. If they have until may 9th to make a decision why make it Monday? Regardless of how it goes…its Dick or nobody.. why don’t they give Thema’s lawyers as much time as possible?
Rose-Marie at that i’m as surprised as you i would have expected that TTOC will stretch this to the last minute…. I hope they conferring with Themas legal team (even though they dont really have to….)
Andreas this doesn’t look good for Thema. If the TTOC does make an an announcement Monday it will be that they have accepted Dick to go. Can’t see it any other way. If I’m right it might also mean somebody’s pocket got lined?
It’s an interesting one. I’m not sure if the FIG will take the TTOC’s announcement as final–if the TTOC says nobody–or if an early announcement will allow Marisa Dick and/or the TTGF time to appeal.
Which might be a sporting gesture, I suppose.
That still allows for Themas Team to press on at CAS, actually i would assume that TTOC has to own the slot for CAS to be able to overturn Marissas nomination…. once it gone to Urbanize its gone… i think… it also bears the “Risk” of Marissa going if CAS does not follow Themas request…. otherwise TTOC will be punished for accepting a slot and then not using it… unless there are medical reasons…
I presume that FIG and TTGF can lodge against TTOC at CAS after too…
if they dont like that desicion…. that i would assume unsucessful as i do believe TTOC will have little problems citing breach of Olympic Charter…
I would consider it highly suspicious if FIG took action against the TTOC. It would have to be the TTGF to act.
Why not wait until the last minute, Rose-Marie Ingrid Lemessy-Forde? When you have two ppl in play? Because it’s not the correct thing to do. It’s what John Geddert did and look at the mess we’re in now.
Marisa can get lawyers too if she hasn’t already.
Chabeth, I don’t know that Marisa needs lawyers as the TTGF has acted on her behalf every step of the way.
If TTOC says we’re not taking the spot she has no room for legal recourse?
TTGF can’t say to TTOC yes we’re taking the spot.
yes she does… but what Lasana is saying: TTGF will take care of that for her like they did all along…lol
I understand what he’s saying and I’m saying TTGF cannot overrule TTOC if they say no to the spot. She has to get lawyers for that.
And to sue TTOC if she thinks she has a case.
but you right, if TTOC refuses the slot it is likely that TTGF and Marissa Dick will take action against that if they accept the slot Thema may take action against them too and TTGF and FIG…
And the proper thing to do is to not wait until the last minute to make your decision so that you give the other side a fair chance to appeal.
TTOC is sitting in a boat with a lot of holes and no plugs in sight…
That’s why I’m saying the only thing that makes sense with an early announcement is to say they accepting the spot. But Chabeth I disagree that it should be done so soon because once they accept the spot I think Thema’s door is closed. So why close the door so early? Anyhow you look at it an early decision favors one and disfavors the other.
for Thema to be able to take action… hmmm i never looked at it that way….
against TTOC…. i hope for her sake that action against TTGF and FIG are well progressed by now…
Unless by them accepting the spot allocated to Dick on Monday this still allows Thema’s quest to CAS to continue.
Rose-Marie of course it does….
as far as i can see it that comes to an end if TTOC rejects and the slot falls to Azerbaijan… i dont think that can be recovered…
The TTOC has to do what it considers right regardless of the personalities involved. I think the onus is on either party to push a case as to why the TTOC should hold its hands.
Outside of that, I think the TTOC is within its rights to announce early.
By which I mean it isn’t the TTOC’s job to fight for either gymnast. Their attorneys must represent them well.
Agreed Lasana there are good reasons to wait and see whether a conclusion may be drawn before May 9th though…. takes them out of the line of fire as far as i can see…
Yes. Their attorneys must represent them. But you must also give their attorneys time to represent them.
If you wait until the 9th… What time does either athlete’s attorneys have?
Chabeth as far as Cas goes, this can go until minutes before the competition. That’s why they have the Ad Hoc Division, that starts operations 10 days before the games and is convened in Rio, not Lausanne
So let me see if I get it. TTOC has until May 9th to decide if to accept the spot with Marisa Dick’s name in it. Or to decide that they don’t want it and Azerbaijan takes it. If the TTOC wants the spot but they don’t want to send Dick, then they cannot reject it…they have to say we accept and hope that Thema is successful with her appeal so that Dick goes out and Thema gets in. A pretty big gamble in my opinion. If they really don’t mind sending Dick because they believe she is deserving of taxpayers support then they decide to accept the spot with Dick’s name in it. So assuming that the TTOC is not rejecting the spot then to me it makes no sense to hurry up the decision /announcement. If you rejecting the spot you can do it on the deadline. If you accepting the spot you can do it on the deadline because CAS would still be pursued by Thema. Does rejecting the spot mean it’s over for both gymnasts or can they each appeal to CAS in that case? I would think it’s the TTOC perogative so it should end there with nobody going. Again..why decide now when you have until May 9th.
If you reject the spot on May 9th, what room for recourse have you left for Marisa to challenge that rejection? Or is it that she has no room to challenge TTOC’s rejection? Legally I mean.
hmm girls. that is though on one hand I’d expect it to be over for both if TTOC rejects, but that would contradict natural justice at least for Dick, I guess…. I’d say that will take a sports lawyer to answer …. otherwise Rose-Marie I think you nailed the summary from how I see it
Well I believe the TTOC has the final say. If in their opinion they decline the spot and they are properly qualified to make that decision I don’t see how either gymnast has grounds to appeal. A sports lawyer might have an expert opinion but the TTOC is not a rubber stamp so they have to be satisfied that certain procedures were followed. We all know what “procedures” were followed so….
Rose-Marie it shall always be able to be apealed even if it is a NOC or IOC, those are not automatically free of crocks either… have a look at CAS database yourself, I’d say from a glimpse that FIFA is leading the pack as respondent… but they in good company by the IOC and WADA…. if you look by year and choose a olympic year like 2012 you will see a few NOC’s there: http://jurisprudence.tas-cas.org/Shared%20Documents/Forms/AllItems.aspx
very often proceedures followed is not the reason why cases end up at CAS. Mind you that sports is a big industrie with a lot of money involved. I dare say it may be the single biggest industry in the world…. that is a lot of reason to go all the way that i can go at the courts…. right or wrong…