Home / Rio 2016 / FIG responds: Only Dick can go to Rio; refuses to verify accreditation timeline

FIG responds: Only Dick can go to Rio; refuses to verify accreditation timeline

FIG Secretary General André Gueisbuhler responded today on the controversial deselection of gymnast Thema Williams and accreditation of her alternate, Marisa Dick, for the Rio 2016 Olympic Test event on 17 April 2016.

Photo: FIG secretary general André Gueisbuhler.
Photo: FIG secretary general André Gueisbuhler.

And FIG’s response was identical, despite the specificity of the questions, to Wired868, Williams’ attorney Dr Emir Crowne and an unspecified number of citizen journalists and curious observers.

It was penned as though straight from the FIG’s legal department.

The FIG confirmed: Williams was registered, her place was taken by Dick, Dick qualified for the August Olympic Games, and the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) has until May 9 to confirm that it will send an athlete to Rio.

Most tellingly, the FIG considers that the “dispute between Thema Williams and the Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federation (TTGF) is an internal affair of Trinidad and Tobago, its legal and sports authorities.”

And “since the qualification place earned by Marisa Dick is nominative, no name change or replacement is possible.”

Dick, according to the FIG, is Trinidad and Tobago’s only legitimate choice.

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)

The stance is unlikely to have surprised Williams’ attorneys, Keith Scotland and Crowne, since the FIG might also be culpable in the furore.

According to FIG rules: “In the case of injuries or illness of any gymnast between the time of accreditation and 24 hours prior to the beginning of CI (Qualifications), the NF (national federation) is allowed to change any accreditation.

“The gymnast injured or ill must return his/her accreditation and another gymnast can be accredited. 24 hours prior to the beginning of CI, no new accreditations can be delivered. The 24 hour period is the one which precedes the start of the day of CI of the respective team/gymnast.”

The Rio Test event started on April 16 while the women’s artistic competition started at 9 am on April 17.

Williams told Wired868 that she returned her accreditation after 9.15 am on Saturday April 16. Dick, who was already at least nine hours into her dash to Rio by then, could not be accredited before that point.

But no medical certificate was given to FIG and Williams had not even visited the doctor yet, although it was clearly within the 24-hour period.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago international gymnast Thema Williams. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago international gymnast Thema Williams.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

Williams said she eventually saw a doctor before lunch and was cleared to compete, once authorised to do so by the TTGF.

So far, all indications are that this medical clearance was communicated verbally. That may become a legal issue at some point.

The FIG, so far, is not volunteering to get involved in the potential quagmire.

Williams’ attorneys suggested on Wednesday that they will petition the TTOC to have the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Tripartite Commission study Williams’ case while the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is another potential route.

Both bodies have jurisdiction over FIG and might force them to reveal timelines, despite their unwillingness to do so to date. It might be too late for Williams to expect help from the Tripartite Commission, though, as on April 26, the IOC body confirmed its list of gymnasts for the August Olympic Games.

For Williams, it remains a race against the clock.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Thema Williams (centre) is flanked by (from left) Tots and Tumblers gymnastics club owner Annette Telfer and attorneys Keith Scotland, Dr Emir Crowne and Resa Ramjohn at a press conference on 27 April 2016 at the Virtus Chambers in Port of Spain. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Thema Williams (centre) is flanked by (from left) Tots and Tumblers gymnastics club owner Annette Telfer and attorneys Keith Scotland, Dr Emir Crowne and Resa Ramjohn at a press conference on 27 April 2016 at the Virtus Chambers in Port of Spain.
(Courtesy Wired868)

(FIG Official Communication)

Considering number of requests and questions received from various stakeholders and the media from Trinidad and Tobago concerning the registration of the Women’s Artistic Gymnastics athletes Thema Williams and Marisa Dick at the Test Event (Last Olympic Qualification) in Rio de Janeiro and FIG’s qualification rules for the Olympic Games, FIG releases the following Statement:

1. The dispute between Thema Williams and the Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federation is an internal affair of Trinidad and Tobago, its legal and sports authorities.

2. We confirm that the initial registration of Thema Williams to participate at the Qualifying Event in Rio was duly made by the Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federation, respecting the FIG’s rules. The place was not nominative and the Federation therefore had the free choice to select and register at their discretion.

3. We confirm that the name change from Thema Williams to Marisa Dick was duly made by the Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federation, respecting the FIG’s rules (including time limits) which allow such a change.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Marisa Dick performs at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Marisa Dick performs at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

4. We confirm that Marisa Dick has successfully competed at the qualifying event in Rio and has obtained a nominative place to participate at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

5. This place must be confirmed by the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee as soon as possible, but no later than May 9, 2016. Failure to do so will result in the automatic invitation of the next best ranked All-Around athlete from the qualifying event in Rio (1st Reserve).

6. Since the qualification place earned by Marisa Dick is nominative, no name change or replacement is possible.

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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130 comments

  1. This dick girl has no moral compass, she is an opportunistic peice of garbage, she doesnt even care for trinidad, how does she sleep at nights?

  2. Dick soooo u hv made any chance of Thema going to Rio to represent her country T & T gone. All for your own selfishness well you will go down in d history books as the one who’s responsible for T & T not being represented in d Olympics bcuz it’s no to Dick for d Olympics

  3. we not using our tax dollars on that nasty board…not a red cent..they must go

  4. of course they refuse to give the accreditation timeline…why incriminate themselves with Lue shue.

  5. It is either Thema Williams goes or nobody goes. That must be the rallying cry of all decent minded Trinbagonians.

    Marissa Dick must never be allowed to be the beneficiary of the treachery and deception, which has become the hallmark of those persons who have sought to catapult her into a position that is not rightfully hers.

  6. Wait… the dick and the fig on the same side.

  7. When ah dick and a fig fighting. #Awkward

  8. Everything happens for a good reason

  9. My role as a so far patriotic citizen is to ensure that my taxpayer dollar is not used to support a blatent injustice and the personal satisfaction of a citizen of convenience.

  10. Donate the funds to send Sick to the Olympics to the Special Olympic children. DICK IS NOT INJURED, SHE IS SICK!!!

  11. According to Article 1 of the IOC Code of Ethics:
    1.1 Respect for the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and FAIR PLAY
    1.4 Respect for international conventions on PROTECTING HUMAN RIGHTS insofar as they apply to the Olympic Games’ activities and which ensure in particular:
    – respect for human dignity;
    – REJECTION OF DISCRIMINATION OF ANY KIND on whatever grounds, be it race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status;
    – rejection of all forms of harassment, be it physical, professional or sexual, and any physical or mental injuries.

    All just WORDS…. great lesson for all our other potential/ future Olympians and others striving for sporting glory!… the ends justify the means and make sure you have a big pappy/ mammy to connive for you.

  12. A very loud sports commentator is very silent on actions of the TTGF and the daily revelations of wrong doing. He is side stepping the main issue by demonising Thema’s coach. Anyhow, he boast about being ‘fearless’ not ‘Fair’. An ‘Unforced Error’? Just an observation.
    Thanks to you for giving us the facts.

  13. I hope the CAS overturns this one. It wreaks of cronyism and machinations.

  14. All I know is the world will soon know who is best at the dick mount.

  15. Dick need to go where she come from

  16. The FIG’s position changes very little for Thema Williams. Thema’s attorneys never planned to have her reinstated through the FIG.

  17. Being devils advocate here, if Dick performs well or medals then what.