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TTGF: Olympic spot belongs to T&T not Thema or Marisa; disciplinary summit delayed

The Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federation (TTGF) will send a representative to the Rio 2016 Olympics Test Event regardless of whether Thema Williams, Marisa Dick or neither of the above is declared to be fit to represent the “Red, Black and White.”

Photo: Thema Williams of Trinidad And Tobago competes on the uneven bars during the 2015 World Gymnastics Championship in Glasgow, Scotland, on October 23, 2015. (Copyright AFP 2016/Andy Buchanan)
Photo: Thema Williams of Trinidad And Tobago competes on the uneven bars during the 2015 World Gymnastics Championship in Glasgow, Scotland, on October 23, 2015.
(Copyright AFP 2016/Andy Buchanan)

As both gifted gymnasts prepare to face the TTGF’s disciplinary committee over revealing photographs on the social media, TTGF general secretary Elicia Peters Charles stressed that, although Williams earned first crack at the final Rio qualifier, the spot belongs to the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC).

Both gymnasts, therefore, are replaceable. And the TTGF can put forward another athlete for April’s Test Event in Rio, even though she did not compete at the Glasgow 2015 World Artistic Games championship.

“I want Trinidad and Tobago to know that it is a TTO spot and not an individual spot,” Peters Charles told Wired868. “You didn’t have to go to the World Games to be able to go to the Test Event. (Also) both Thema and Marisa made the mark required to represent Trinidad and Tobago. No one person made it.”

News that the TTGF is prepared to find a third gymnast at short notice, if necessary, to represent the country, may not appease concerned fans, who are anxious to see the country get the best possible representation at the upcoming Olympics.

And it certainly won’t calm the nerves of the two young gymnasts, who are anxiously awaiting their fate.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Marisa Dick competes at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games. Dick placed 14th with a total of 51.25. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Marisa Dick competes at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.
Dick placed 14th with a total of 51.25.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

However, Peters Charles made it clear that she has not prejudged the matter and the TTGF will go into the disciplinary meeting with an open mind.

The decisive meeting was scheduled for this week but has now been delayed to an undetermined time next week, due to the TTGF’s difficulty in sourcing a lawyer willing to offer legal services free of charge.

“The meeting will be next week,” said Peters Charles. “We wanted to do it this week but we didn’t have a legal representative…

“We don’t have any (budget) that will allow us to pay a lawyer, so we have to ask for pro bono work.”

The disciplinary committee will consist of seven people with just two members from outside the fraternity: TTGF president David Marquez, general secretary Peters Charles, a representative for the registered gymnastics clubs, a representative for the coaching body, one trustee, a legal representative and a mediator.

Despite suggesting the case has not been prejudged, the TTGF general secretary did say that both athletes breached their contracts.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Marisa Dick performs at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games. Dick was born in Canada to a Trinidadian mother, Hannifer. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Marisa Dick performs at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.
Dick was born in Canada to a Trinidadian mother, Hannifer.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

“It was a breach,” the TTGF general secretary told Wired868. “The reason it has gone to the disciplinary committee is because a breach took place.”

Both Williams and Dick signed contracts, after last October’s World Games, which under the heading of “Ambassador of the Sport”, stated that:

“I am a representative of TTGF and must conduct myself in a manner that upholds the name, reputation and goodwill of TTGF… As such, my conduct publicly known and not publicly known must not reflect poorly upon or bring discredit to TTGF, its other athletes, its coaches or its events and programs.

“My conduct extends beyond actions on the field of play, including but not limited to

actions/posting/images disseminated in the public domain.”

Williams’ photograph, which landed her in hot water with the TTGF, was posted on her private Instagram page for barely 24 hours, according to the athlete, before being removed—almost 10 months prior to her pre-Olympics contract.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Thema Williams performs at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games. Williams is in line to be Trinidad and Tobago's first gymnast to perform at an Olympic Games. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Thema Williams performs at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.
Williams is in line to be Trinidad and Tobago’s first gymnast to perform at an Olympic Games.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

However, the TTGF believes the 20 year old was in violation of the clause which reads: “my conduct publicly known and not publicly known…”

Dick’s own photograph was posted on SnapChat just last month.

Williams’ photograph was leaked to the TTGF by “Georgette Heinz” on February 22 while, three days later, “Kamara Heinz” responded by releasing Dick’s topless shot.

Thus far, the public response has largely been supportive of both ladies, although there were grumbles regarding Canada-born Dick’s split loyalties. Former England-born Trinidad and Tobago World Cup player, Shaka Hislop, attempted to address the latter issue in a op-ed for Wired868.

Andreas Stueven, the Trinidad and Tobago Triathlon Federation president, said, in his personal opinion, the TTGF’s response to the topless photographs was overblown.

“I do not think that this is a particularly raunchy or unbecoming picture for my taste,” said Stueven, after the circulation of Williams’ photograph. “Young people—girls and boys—are exploring their sexuality and once it stays within boundaries, I do not see that as raunchy. If you google Sports Illustrated, you will find a lot of pictures and some of them probably ‘raunchier’ than this one.

Photo: USA heptathlete Chantae McMillan is one of dozens of athletes who appeared nude in ESPN's Body Issue Magazine. (Copyright ESPN/Carlos Serrao)
Photo: USA heptathlete Chantae McMillan is one of dozens of athletes who appeared nude in ESPN’s Body Issue Magazine.
(Copyright ESPN/Carlos Serrao)

“Athletes train (and) as a byproduct they have sexy bodies. That applies again to male and female alike. Thema is not the only athlete to pose and show the result of her hard work.

“I know a few others personally and if you again google you will find a lot of celebrity athletes having posed for similar pictures. I do not see this as unbecoming.”

Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis was concerned with the timing of the furore.

“The TTOC is very athlete-centred and athlete-focused and therefore at this point in time,” Lewis told Wired868, last week, “all our Olympic athletes are very focused on preparing for whatever various qualification they have.

“They are at a crucial time with the Olympic Games just months away.

“The timing of the release of such a picture, which I have not seen, is concerning because it distracts both the athlete and the administrators from what should be the focus, which is preparing for an upcoming Test Event which forms the final qualifier for Rio 2016.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Thema Williams.
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Thema Williams.

It is uncertain whether next week’s disciplinary meeting will have any bearing on the identity of which athlete represents Trinidad and Tobago at April’s Rio Olympics Test Event.

About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd
Lasana Liburd is the CEO and Editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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227 comments

  1. Y’all wanna hang these girls for some stupid contract that does not clearly state what exactly violates it but I’m sure when the leaders of our country are scene in public for carnival whining and grinding drinking and being drunk and making stupid comments you condone it? TTGF y’all need help! These girls did not commit any crime whatsoever. They have worked very hard and to the knowledge of many they haven’t violated a single thing. You’re saying here that this is how hard work is paid? That this is how you reward these girls? By slapping them in the face for being confident about their bodies in a tasteful manner? Did they act a porn? You even know the color size and shape of their nipples for what they actually look like naked? Trinidad too backward

  2. That is why our athletes leave TnT and represent other countries ..

  3. This is such crapthese girls have trained too hard to be subjected to TTOC idiots

  4. look for another or dont send anyone. Typical youth love exposing themselves just some of them have talent. Nobody standing up for morality anymore.

  5. SMH

    There must have been a better way to deal with this.

  6. We really need to climb out of the dark ages.

  7. in Canada Marisa never competed Elite, she competed in the women National Open but never competed Elite , she didn’t have the skill set and wouldn’t have met the criteria when she was 14/15, it was her coach Mr.Serban who when she was 14 started the process of her getting her citizenship so she could compete for T & T she then went down to compete in T & T at Nationals she was accepted to team. It was about funding and international experience of which she would have more than likely never received in Canada (too many great gymnasts there) and that my dear Trinis is the truth, fast forward …… someone has gone to a great effort to discredit a hard working athlete who has a higher skill set who earned her trip to the test event by achieving the HIGHEST score ever internationally by a T & T gymnast (Thema Williams on the road to Rio 2016) i do believe Marisa is also a victim here , this is just shameful. Well enough should have been left alone. Thema qualified , she has the Elite skill set , but y’know when it the Olympics some people just go Cra-Cra !! ……..sigh……..

  8. If the spot belongs to Trinidad and Tobago, then it’s time for Trinidad and Tobago to speak up.

  9. It also doesn’t belong to the federation either

  10. At this stage the only person/entity at risk of “reflect[ing] poorly upon or bring[ing] discredit to TTGF, its other athletes, its coaches or its events and programs” is the TTGF itself

  11. If Trinidad playing de ass and don’t want them, St.Lucia will gladly take them. Bunch of hypocrites

  12. The wear of the gymnast is as good as being nude.. the different acts, splits. vaults.. shows up their bodies in every way.. they should be wearing long pant then..? the men do…! So what they mean.. that’s the end of her career in that sport.. What are they saying to young ladies.. Hide your bodies or you are doom to be nothing of substance in the future? better young people go back to the land to bring food to the nations and forget work hard at these things that mostly bring them disgrace in the eyes of the people who benefit the most by holding these events anyway..!

  13. we love real shit in trini plz tell me how this is an issue? and is there even a third gymast at this level ? on top of which who leaked the pics and why I smell a internal setup at play to derail the girls tonya harding style

  14. Are we sending our best gymnasts?

  15. I thought you had to qualify for the spot. If the spot ‘belongs ‘ to TTGF then why haven’t we sent someone to every Olympics?

  16. Is it just me or is hypocrisy and irony thiefing a wine in front everyone’s eyes. This Olympic sport like Beach volleyball(female) draws a large percentage of male viewers live n televised not because of the sport but the outfits n bodies that they occupy. So the so called “pic” reveals so little in comparison to competition wear. It’s like the joke where her mother warned her not to pay heed to the dares of the boys at the corner to do somersaults as they only wanted to see her underwear. The jokes on them mom she triumphantly proclaimed, “I took off my underwear before I flipped’.

  17. Picture posted by a jealous Mother of a contender who was not chosen,,,, it is alleged. We now have the best chance at the meet than we ever had and a false pride committee going to deny a country international fame and glory and crush a young hard working lady the opportunity to make her dreams come true. REALLY?

  18. Power hungry people who have someone in mind for that spot.

  19. If she was convicted of fraud or smoking a plant like substance and did time, the organisers would still allow her to compete. But this is Trinidad and Tobago where we can get on bad in public on carnival but put on this pseudo Victorian puritanical face when it suits us.

  20. Ttgf I guarantee you the us and Canada respectively will scoop these two girls soo quick train them like elites and then Canada and the Us get two Olympic gold medalists !!!!!! Another kerron clement in the making

  21. So the federation would rather send a technically 3rd ranked gymnast to represent this country to prove what exactly? Is this issue really worth sabotaging these athletes and the country’s chances? I hope this is a question the federation is prepared to answer to the people of Trinidad and Tobago.

  22. Say what now…a next gymnast! Who? When? Why? Where? #Papayo #WeReach

  23. Where is good sense….this is how we encourage young people to to achieve and be all they can be….the Young lady have worked long and hard for this golden opportunity , are you going to deny her and strip her spirit from her…..Shame on you for not handling the matter with due consideration…… Shame on you for breaking the spirit of a young dedicated athlete….. The damage (to the girl) can be much deeper than we all can imagine ….

  24. John Gill, did you say on the radio that the photographs of the gymnasts were sent to the media by the TTGF secretary?
    So you are saying that you can prove either “Georgette Heinz”, “Kamara Heinz” or “Melissa Grant” are TTGF members?
    That’s a helluva claim.

  25. TTOC and TTGF is not Trinidad and Tobago as well its the people that is Trinidad and Tobago.

  26. So Trinidad and Tobago gets two talented world class gymnasts who have sacrificed to represent their country and we decide to sabotage both of them when they both could have chosen to represent other countries

  27. That was the intention of this commitee from day one, to put who THEY wanted all along..smh.. Allyuh too nasty

  28. Trinidad to back ward and like bachannal

  29. Smh all the board had to do was have a meeting discuss the issues tell her hey its a brand we wanna for our country no nudes plz shake hands and back at it Olympic coming work hard Thema we want medals

  30. Just when you thought the WICB was the most autocratic, archaic and downright duncey sports administration body in the region, along comes this collection of misguided souls. What an unnecessary circus.

  31. The spot belongs to T and T, not to TTOC. The public outpouring of support for the his young lady should settle the matter

  32. They are nothing but a bunch of shit heads.idiots squared you get more idots from this equation

  33. Who are these “Heinz” people that “leaked” the photos and what do they have to gain by doing so.? Being represented in gymnastics on a global scale like the Olympics could be a defining moment for TnT (sports) … if we would only allow ourselves to see the bigger picture.

  34. You know what, since the spot belongs to TTGF they could send Dwayn Bravo. He is a master tumbler and aerial performer. Seen him do it in cricket.( Sarcastically speaking)

  35. The sport of gymnastic is a sport that reveals a woman body almost like no other the level of hypocrisy this situation reaks of is deafening circumstances like this shows how blinded people had become both spiritually and naturally.

  36. TTGF is only for one type of people in T&T. That federation has a hidden agenda .

  37. I never see nonsense as this…they need to change that administration… The TTOC and Minister of Sport need to the intervene

  38. Who they gonna send? My 4 year old niece? She can’t do the Dick move

  39. Plz stop the nonsense, go on ESPN to see some of these athlete model their athletic bodies, wonder what the uproar, our goal (pun intended)is for our country to get a medal in this event gold preferably….

  40. Disciplinary Committee is optional not mandatory without a clear mandate outside of competitions. This Board digging a massive HOLE for themselves..leads you to ask why presumed sensible folks act so??

    Unfortunately, if the Board acts to the detriment of one or both athletes, the athletes will have little recourse as the TTGF is likely without assets and Directors and Officers Insurance.

    Below link to TTGF Constitution:

    http://www.ttsportslink.com/gymnastics/downloads/ttgf_constitution_revised_2013.pdf

    7. THE DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE:

    INFRINGEMENTS BY MEMBERS
    The Disciplinary Committee shall deal with and report and recommend to Council on all matters relating
    to the discipline of the membership of the Federation as relates to the standards of conduct and ethics,
    and the compliance with the rules and regulations applicable to the membership. All matters of discipline
    shall be conducted with due regard to the general principles of fairness and the rules of natural justice.

    COMPETITION DISPUTES
    1. The Disciplinary Committee shall hear and determine all protests of Gymnasts or athletes, and clubs
    against alleged and misinterpretation of the rules of the Federation governing any particular
    competition or championship or event. Any such protest shall be lodged orally at the time of the
    event with the Head Judge or Official and confirmed in writing to the Disciplinary Committee within
    five (5) days of the event.
    2. Such protest shall be heard within twenty-one (21) days after the same shall have been lodged.
    Seven (7) clear days notice in writing must be given to the principal persons interested. After a
    protest has been decided by the Disciplinary Committee, it shall within five (5) days thereafter give
    written notification of the decision of all parties concerned.
    3. If no decision is reached by the Disciplinary Committee within twenty-one (21) days after a matter is
    referred to it or if a party is aggrieved at the decision of the Disciplinary Committee, an appeal may
    be made to the Council of the Federation which shall hear the appeal and have power to call upon
    all parties concerned to attend and testify before it. The Disciplinary Committee shall have power to
    recommend to the Council the manner in which any gymnast or club found by the Disciplinary
    Committee to be guilty of an infringement of the rules of The Federation may be punished but the
    final decision in this behalf shall be taken by the Council under the power in that behalf herein
    contained.
    4. No person undergoing a sentence of suspension or disqualification may participate in any TTGF
    sanctioned event (to include competitions, meetings and galas)

  41. Can’t believe this crap reach this far. And all this from a complaint by a Heinz person who’s picture we can’t see. The test event is 2 months away. Time for some ministry or TTOC official to call up these people and rinse out their ears. I think we’ve put up with this crap long enough. The TTGF looking for a “free” lawyer who would take their side before they could make a decision. Because they have no money to pay a “yes” man. Can’t even laugh at the irony.

  42. When will this country take there heads out of the sand?? Trinidad oh lord. Let’s move forward and stop creating problems when there is nun. What have those girls done wrong? I have seen bigger sports personalities in more revealing pics and we all approve of them. Why are we fighting down our own?? Why??? That energy we have to do that use it to get funding and all the necessary training and things we need to better the sport of gymnastics. I’m so fed of these people who call themselves administrators of sport. Y’all killing sports.

  43. This is all so amusing when for 2 days in every year, women practically go naked all in the name of culture. All you people are a bunch of hypocrites. Nothing wrong with Carnival but outside of those two days all else in unacceptable.

  44. So advocate for change if you feel you should… but don’t make it seem like the local body is unique in its approach…this is a worldwide fact that associations own the space regardless of who qualified… smh… discuss the issues .. protest the real issues..but don’t use opinion as fact.

    • Kirk you do forget in all of this, that the NF is bound to determine their own internal qualifications. If they have only one eligible athlete all is fine and easy… trouble starts when there are more Athletes than slots….. the NF has to set a clear and fair way to compete for those slots prior to the start of that competition and must not deter from those rules after…. subject to change is a relative term in this case… it does not change in the middle of the process…. it may change for the next olympics, though….

    • The TTGF laid out their internal rules since early last Year (thats good) which was, that the Athlete placed best overal in Scotland is AUTOMATIC choice (thats good too) then after scottland discussions started… (Thats bad) rules were questioned (thats worse) and the TTGF anounced that Thema is going in accordance with the rules (we good again)…. then picture surfaced ( now it getting real bad) …. it all depends how the TTGF is going to handle this now…. if it were me, i’d be walking around with the constitution of my NF, my IF, the Dispute resolution policy of my NF at all times at the moment and have a lawyer on speed dial….

    • ohh and doh talk to people like Lasana Liburd….lol

    • Lol. Talking to me should the cornerstone of sport policy. ?

    • Look how it get the poor lady in trouble so. ..lol

  45. The quote is ” Rio2016.com is not an absolute authority on qualification for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, which is an ongoing process. Final places will only be confirmed in July 2016 (for the Olympic Games) and August 2016 (for the Paralympic Games). The qualification systems are defined by each sport’s respective International Federation and the International Olympic Committee or International Paralympic Committee, and are subject to change. When an athlete or team wins a quota place for their nation, the final decision on whether this ‘slot’ is used and which athletes are sent is taken by the respective National Olympic Committee or National Paralympic Committee (NOC or NPC). Even when athletes win a ‘nominal’ place for themselves, NOCs/NPCs may have to decide who to send if the number of qualified athletes from one country exceeds the quota.

  46. where is the TTOC in all of this? this cannot be how a sporting organisation is managed. it brings the sport and the athletes (who are touted as being central to sport development) into disrepute because of two supposedly anonymous emails.

  47. I am calling on Min of Sports Mr. Smith to intervene on the girls behalf. This is nothing short of ridiculous what these young ladies, are being forced to go through. They have worked for their spot on the Olympic team, as a matter of fact this is our best chance ever in the history of our Gymnastics. I don’t know who is the the moron that believe that the spot belongs to T&T and not the athletes that competed amassing their points , for their right to compete in Rio. What they should be investigating is who released the pics and why? What would they gain by trying to assassinate the characters of these young ladies.

  48. I wish they both represent other countries and get medals while these fools continue to haggle over nothing….bunch of imps lmao.

  49. Good will always prevail over evil….keep your head up Thema. …you have our support always?

  50. You better get a lawyer or stop speaking.

  51. This society of yours is so hypocritical. Are you saying now that it is not acceptable for a woman to expose her anatomy for public consumption? But I recalled only recently that that Theresa Ho got close to a million dollars from Lendl Simmons and don’t forget Anya Ayoung Chee, who won your prestigious Project Runway even though she was not only naked on social media but was also performing one of the most sordid sex acts for public consumption!

  52. The long and short of this matter is they do not want the young lady some one is calling the shot behind the scenes

  53. They’re really ridiculous

  54. If the other gymnast were better they would’ve been qualified to go Rio, disciplinary board.

    • neither has qualified yet to go RIO

    • 3 hours ago Brian Smith castigated the double standards. 2 hours ago Kim Possible castigated the double standards and 1 hour ago yours truly castigated the double standards but you appeared on every thread like a Spanish station with your inanity except the former, why is that Nigel Tyrell-Reid? That’s bcause you’re one of those hypocrites he’s speaking about!

    • I am lost to what you are speaking about but ok. All I said is neither has yet qualified to go RIO.

    • ” The qualification systems are defined by each sport’s respective International Federation and the International Olympic Committee or International Paralympic Committee, and are subject to change. When an athlete or team wins a quota place for their nation, the final decision on whether this ‘slot’ is used and which athletes are sent is taken by the respective National Olympic Committee or National Paralympic Committee (NOC or NPC). Even when athletes win a ‘nominal’ place for themselves, NOCs/NPCs may have to decide who to send if the number of qualified athletes from one country exceeds the quota.”

      Just for people’s Info.

  55. Trying to unravel the logic of that statement. Isn’t there a trial/ national championship to determine the selection?

  56. This is the most bullshit I have ever heard, honestly – THE MOST.

  57. Sweet T&T forever moving backwards, never forward. #FeelingEmbarassed

  58. Hope the Government and the TTOC take a hard look at what’s going on with TTGF before funding any representative to the Summer Olympics. We need to be represented by the best gymnast not by TTGF favorite daughter.

  59. Something made into a scandal. So sad. This is a sad beginning to 2016 for T&T. These women have potential to make it great.

  60. Wtf if you’ll don’t want to send Thema say so now and stop holding the facking girl hostage to the last minute so No one else could grab her example Canada… that is selfish cowardly spineless playing God with the girl’s talent and future… release the facking girl stewpz… I real don’t have patience with all this bullshyte Anika n Adelagun…

  61. I think that the person that sent the photos to TTGF complaining should be revealed. Let’s understand the vested interest. As for the spot belonging to t&t, are you they saying they rather send the bottom of the barrel. These young ladies didn’t dope, someone went on their profile and downloaded a picture. This country….smh….ass backward yes

  62. When will T&T stop be so petty…#3rdworldforever

  63. All this noise over a silly photo when the girl should be preparing for the Olympics. Geeze we really backwards.

  64. So It is ok to parade naked and behave lewd to showcase “our culture” but it is not ok to showcase for our sportsmanship… we too confuse in this country yes.

  65. Exactly! It’s so obvious where their loyalty lies, but this will unravel so fast their heads will spin. They have done absolutely NOTHING for the sport other than create their own little interest groups to access taxpayers money. They have been able to attract zero sponsorship as the public is well aware of the boards interference with the constitution. And so if left unchecked the sport will fade into oblivion along with all the talented athletes produced by the handful of clubs. The ministry of sport would be wise to seriously consider what is happening at the TTGF and make demands of them before it’s too late.

  66. I would think – in the light of vocal public support – that it would be tricky to argue that the TTGF was brought into disrepute, particularly by Thema’s photos, which were an artistic celebration of black bodies during Black History month, a year ago.

    Arguably the TTGF’s own actions have done it significantly more harm.

  67. Question did TTGF won that spot ,how may points they got after performing the routine

  68. How is it that the secretary is so adamant abt the disciplinary committee for these girls? Why was she and the rest of the Council not adamant abt Marisa’s coach facing said disciplinary committee when he was arrested for misbehavior on a CAL flight from Toronto to POS. These people are jokers.

  69. What utter rubbish!! The TTGF and TTOC both missed the point, where do they find these people. The fact is that according to the TTGF the athlete who won worlds won the rio spot, yet after Ms Williams scored higher at the event the TTGF decided to move the goal post and have them compete in two more events to decide who went? These pictures are a clear distraction from the fact that the TTGF had everything premeditated and planned for who they wanted to go to rio, and when their planned failed out came the claws. The right thing to do would be to remove the board, and have and outside team of credible people sit and make a judgement. Trinidad and Tobago is watching and I hope the TTGF knows if they handle this wrong it will be off with their heads.

    • Dayne neither TTOC or MOSY will get too involved into this as they in my opinion will consider this a internal issue of the Federation. There maybe some behind the scenes phonecalls with advise and it seems those are in dire need. But the way this is going the two ladies will have soon, if not already, have recourse to the International Federation, that will deal with appeals to Rulings by the NF…. normally that would happen after the Ruling of the committee, but in this case they may be able to claim undue delay of process particularly given the fact that the nomination deadline for the Test event must be just around the corner…

    • Thanks for the info Andreas Stueven much appreciated

    • We have to be careful that our emotions do not get in our way. I do know Thema personally as a Family friend since she is small, but i’m also one of the Admins in another Federation. And i try to see it from both sides, as far as i concerned this is a case on both sides of shootin with canons on birds as we’d say in Germany, meaning this really getting blown totally out of proportions… as far as i concern it should have been put at rest by the Federation a long time ago….

  70. I see a lot of foreign athletes posing nude for magazines like sports illustrated. Serena Williams is one of them. This third world mentality we have..so stupid.

  71. Based on comments from TTGF Secretary in the public domain, she is the judge, jury and executioner. They really are a bunch of thick heads!

  72. TTGF = Non – entities with nothing to frigging do

  73. The pro bono lawyer should work for her.

  74. Spot belongs to Thema according to contract law, she needs a good attorney!!

  75. Lord you need to touch this situation.

  76. Then how can she be in breech of a clause that did not exists when she posted the pic

  77. Yeah but Thema’s photo was posted before the contract was Signed ?

  78. This is just plain ridiculous. There’s no other description. An adult needs to take out a belt and give the TTGF some licks….this whole thing is just so stupid

  79. Steups. They need to get their beHeinz in gear & get with the programme. Their conduct is the embarrassment – not these young women’s.

  80. I have a question if contracts were signed sometime in October last year aind one of the ladies in question posted her pic since February of last year, how is she in violation of the contract. The act happened in February last year, the fact the the committee now seeing the pic is a none issue. No one can be held accountable for an action. I did outside my contract. These ppl are just being silly

  81. These people not too bright owa?

  82. A situation where you don’t know if to laugh or cry

  83. Let’s back up Andreas, do you think all this disciplinary nonsense was necessary, all because of one voice who expressed dissatisfaction about how she felt?..gimme a break..they are jeopardizing young people’s future..what do they say after the fact? They are sorry? athletes are hard working people, I know, hence the reason I feel so strongly about this unfair treatment.

    • Mervyn i cant speak for Gymnastics, but in the Federation i’m the VP off we probebly would have launched a hearing too, but the outcome would mostlikely have been to clear both girls and make it very clear that the original rules set will be applied, which would in this case as far as i know the facts: Thema goes…

    • once a valid complaint has been filed the Federation has to start proceedings, but in this case it is questionable that the complaint was valid as no one seems to have been able to confirm the ID of the complainant let alone whether she is in fact a valid complainant (meaning she at least would have to be a member of ttgf i would guess)

    • Mr Stueven, you seem to be a very rational person, you spoke about contract, when was the contract signed …if so, before or after the fact, this entire episode is just unwarranted and all because of someone who is thinking…1920’s, people need to appraise their way of thinking…look around at what’s happening, let go of the antiquated way of thinking, loosen up, the world is moving on and NOONE is going to hold is back, come on for the ride or wave goodbye.

    • Mervyn Skeete look at my post higher up… to my knowledge Thema signed after and Melissa before… i have my opinion expressed quite clearly in my various comments above too… but need to catch some sleep now… lol

    • Andreas. This debacle is not going to leave you anytime soon…I have had my fill with people who seem not to understand protocol…so I am outa here, our discussions were very cordial and I appreciate your approach to this issue….peace out.

    • Mervyn i appreciate that and just like you i had and still have my fair share with people like that…. trying to correct what is possible…. fortunately not all of it hits the fan like this and i glad that i can watch this from the sideline, because from my assessment this is not only a PR disaster for the TTGF but will also turn into a serious legal one…. I’m certain we will cross paths again …

  84. Have we ever qualified before thesegirls

  85. what a set who belong to the moral minority ,who on the committee who does not drink rum

  86. Whoever posted these pics clearly knows about the clause that these girls signed. THEY WICKED AND BAD……these pics are not alarmingly revealing.The timing is even more suspicious…..interesting though that Thema can represent Canada.

  87. Mervyn read what i wrote above… technically they are correct, but they also made very clear rules as to whom they will give it to…

  88. and its situations like these that kills very niche sports in this country, with actions like these!! for a country that has for years, never once gotten this close to and Olympics! and barely gets participation and always begs for funds!! it has found its self in a Ego position to Man there im the Boss syndrome “Not Thema or Marisa spot, but TTGF spot!’ that right there tell’s you its a Ego battle going on.!!! i do hope the Olympic committee realize that situation like these, can kill a sport that barely has a following in this country!! Thread carefully TTGF, cause making a bad mistake will very well make Gymnastic a very deader dan dead sport it already is in this country and it will be on your hands!! …. DO the right thing and Pick the best which is Thema!! simple as at that..she worked hard and earned that’s spot more than anyone else!! simple!! cause im sure if Thema didnt make the pass grade..you would been saying well she lost that spot or she didnt quality!! instead of you saying TTGF didnt qualify or made that sport etc etc ………..

  89. All those who said that she (Thelma) “exposed herself” are a bunch of HYPOCRITES, and if the TTGF so rule, they too are not fit to be administrators and should be ashamed of themselves and be removed. Seems as though when administrators get a little power, they lose all sense of reasoning..football, cricket, now gymnastics..all on this thing called a “power play” screwing up hard working achievers…sickening…read the power play? The spot belongs to them, they probably cannot even walk a straight line. steups

  90. Why these ‘Holier than thou’ prudes putting these athletes through this?

  91. And what’s this about not having funds for legal counsel? How ridiculous can TTGF be. Seems every T&T sporting organization has questionable accounting practices. Wasn’t the Ministry of Sports funded recently? It I recall correctly, the answer is yes!

    • To be fair, most sport bodies are not self-sufficient and Government barely funds anything but travel to tournaments as far as I know.

    • Lasana Liburd Sigh… I understand. In fact, lack of self-sufficiency from a financial perspective has always been my pet-peeve with the NAAA & TTFA. But when the Ministry of Sports and the Sports Company can authorize a $34 million pay day to someone for no work done my blood pressure rises every time I hear these organizations begging for funds.

    • Lasana Liburd – you could NEVER convince me that the TTGF has no access to legal advice. I can believe that they don’t have advice that suits their purpose.

      This will not end well for any of the parties involved.

  92. Ah. Money pass
    Not surprising. Trinidad was always for sale. Thema doh study them… I hear other countries will have you. ..

  93. what maddness these ppl talking, sport is about athletes not dotish administrators

  94. Seems the TTGF considers Thema’s and Marisa’s pictures to be lewd and of questionable character. Regardless, Thema is standing on solid legal ground because she signed a contract 10 months after her incident whereas Marisa’s incident was after her signing. This seems like it will be another situation in which T&T sporting organization cuts off its nose and spites its face.

  95. If the TTGF cannot even afford a lawyer, it really shouldn’t set itself up for a lawsuit.

  96. I’m smelling a rat; a big fat rotten one.

  97. Well, if there was ever any doubt, we know now that the TTGF is dead serious and the consequences can be dire.
    What we don’t know is what the final decision will be. And it is really sad that the athletes must spend so much time in limbo. It must be distracting.

  98. So now we know what their decision on William’s picture was. If Dick’s picture didn’t surface she would be going to Rio. All in all the federation need someone from UWI’s gender studies department to educate them on sexuality and appearance.

  99. Without prejudice, but if that is the direction TTGF is heading they busy digging a nice hole for themselves in multiple aspects from my point of view…while the fact is correct that the slot at the test event belongs to TTO, they themselves laid out rules for qualifying for that slot…and if the representative contract has only been signed after Glasgow at least Thema does not seem to have violated it as one cannot be punished retroactive and at least her picture was taken before she signed the contract… maybe Marissas too, who knows…

  100. This is just plain stupid. The spot belongs to the best athlete in accordance to the qualification process that was laid out. Neither girl has done anything to warrant being banned and effectively ending their Olympic chances.

  101. Bakes

    I believe the TTGF is wading into dangerous territory with these cases, particularly with Thema Williams’ situation. For one, merely posting a photo that is suggestive of topless nudity isn’t per se a violation of the terms of the contract, or uncontroverted proof that the ladies in question failed to uphold “the name, reputation and goodwill of TTGF… ” Neither is it conclusively proven that posting such photos respectively, “reflect poorly upon or bring discredit to TTGF, its other athletes, its coaches or its events and programs.”

    It becomes really a matter of opinion, and should the TTGF fall into the trap of arguing that its young women athletes run afoul of the regulations by posing topless, an easy challenge would be for the TTOC to prove that it holds its young male athletes to the same standard. One imagines it would not be too difficult to find a male gymnast posing (publicly or not, pre- or post-contract) bare-chested/topless. Even by TnT’s conveniently prudish standards, one cannot legally discriminate on the basis of sex, particularly true of any organization with as much official entanglement (sponsorship for one) with the State. That would be a clear contravention of both Misses Williams’ and Dick’s Constitutional rights.

    The issue is doubly problematic in the instance involving Ms. Williams:

    “However, the TTGF believes the 20 year old was in violation of the clause which reads: ‘my conduct publicly known and not publicly known…’”

    If Ms. Williams had taken the picture after signing the contract with the TTGF and was aware of this prohibition at the time of her taking the picture in question, then yes, the TTGF would be correct in claiming that she is in breach, whether or not the photo was posted publicly, posted privately, or not posted at all. Simply taking the picture would implicate “conduct… not publicly know.”

    The central question would be the post facto, or retroactive application of the prohibition, something which is anathema throughout the common law, but certainly in the law of contracts. It would be one thing is the contact governed prior behavior (as was the case infamously with Vanessa Williams and Miss USA). However, on the evidence thus far, the agreement seems to only govern prospective behavior… from the date of signing on. The TTGF would arguably be best served by dispensing with this tempest in a teapot and casting aside this Victorian pretentiousness and patriarchal hypocrisy where is concerns the female body.

  102. if thats the case…THEN THEY SHOULD HAVE BUSTED PALMS!!!! makes me want to scream -_-

  103. It don’t belong to either of them except whose family has the money to pull strings or whose hypocrite mother fs up the other’s chance with some hypocrite objection. The story of sportd in TnT untill the US recognise you then everyone thinks you’re the best .

  104. I second Nicole Ulerie’s comment

  105. I’m not even reading this. Living in this country can b so depressing eh. Chups