Home / Rio 2016 / TTGF: We are very grateful; Geddert: What a shameful moment in sports

TTGF: We are very grateful; Geddert: What a shameful moment in sports

“This circumstance and situation is a dark cloud over the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic movement,” said Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis. “It was one of the most gruelling and difficult situations that the TTOC has ever found itself in. We could have made decisions on the basis of purely our emotion and anger but that wasn’t the responsible legal position to take.

“This is not a very happy day for the TTOC, the Olympic movement and the members of the games committee.”

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)

It was, almost certainly, the least enthusiastic announcement of an Olympic place in the 122-year history of the modern Games, as 18-year-old gymnast Marisa Dick—who has dual Canada and Trinidad and Tobago citizenship—was declared as the TTOC’s representative for gymnastics at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The choice, for the TTOC, was between Dick or nobody. And the fact that Lewis described such a decision as “gruelling and difficult” spoke volumes to the chaos that enveloped the sport, even before Dick controversially replaced 20-year-old Thema Williams on the eve of the Rio Test event on April 17.

Lewis revealed that, in the last two weeks, he received a pre-action protocol letter from the Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federation (TTGF)—after he tweeted that the TTOC would not rubber-stamp the TTGF’s wishes—legal warnings from Williams’ attorneys and the International Federation of Gymnastics (FIG) and threats of financial boycott from the public.

“The TTOC wasn’t between a rock and a hard place,” said Lewis, in response to one question. “The TTOC was between a rock and a very hard rock.”

The TTGF, who has generally been cast as the villain of the piece, made a curt and non-contentious statement.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federation officials (from right) Ricardo Lue Shue, Elicia Peters-Charles and David Marquez pose with Sport Minister Darryl Smith (second from right). (Courtesy Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federation officials (from right) Ricardo Lue Shue, Elicia Peters-Charles and David Marquez pose with Sport Minister Darryl Smith (second from right).
(Courtesy Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs)

“We are very grateful to the TTOC for allowing gymnastics to be a part of the Olympics for the first time in the history of Trinidad and Tobago,” said TTGF general secretary Elicia Peters-Charles.

Not that the TTOC had much praise for the TTGF on the day. Instead, Lewis promised action against the local gymnastics body.

“The TTOC has considered issues surrounding the process and will be invoking its authority under clause 13 of its constitution,” said Lewis, “to determine whether the TTGF has infringed the TTOC constitution, the Olympic charter, and the International Olympic Committee’s code of ethics in respect of their duty to be fair.”

Peters-Charles declined comment on the TTOC threat.

“At this moment, as the general secretary, I am not at liberty saying anything else,” she said.

It was just as well Peters-Charles did not respond. So far every attempt to corner the TTGF has been as effective as attempting to punch your own shadow.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Thema Williams (right) and her coach John Geddert.
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Thema Williams (right) and her coach John Geddert.

Williams’ coach, John Geddert, was mad enough for everyone else.

“What a shameful moment in sports,” stated Geddert, on his Facebook wall. “If there were ever a blatant display of unethical and corrupt sports management, this was it! The TTGF showcased their 10 foot tall and bullet proof, in your face, we do as we please, the hell with who gets hurt in the process, mentality for the world to see.

“What an epic moment for the proper message to be sent in response to the narcissistic and unthinkable actions. What an opportunity to show the world that honesty, integrity and rules do matter.

“What a moment to stand firm and stand tall. What a shame!”

Ironically, it was Geddert’s clumsy training report that the TTGF used to remove Williams from Rio in the first place. And his track record might also work against him.

A gymnastics insider was quick to point out that star United States gymnast Jordyn Wieber confessed to competing with a stress fracture in her right leg at the London 2012 Olympics. She failed to land an individual medal at the competition. Geddert was her coach.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnasts Thema Williams (right) and Marisa Dick have fun sightseeing in Rio, after the Olympic Test event on 17 April 2016. (Courtesy Hannifer Dick)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago gymnasts Thema Williams (right) and Marisa Dick have fun sightseeing in Rio, after the Olympic Test event on 17 April 2016.
(Courtesy Hannifer Dick)

Michelle Frankland, gymnastics coach and daughter of Tots and Tumblers club founder Annette Telfer, called it “a sad day for gymnastics” and sport governance on the whole. Williams was a former pupil of their gymnastics programme.

“It sends a clear signal that good governance at the end of the day does not matter,” Frankland told Wired868, “that the TTGF can break its own rules and policies and come out with their heads held high. It is a very sad day.

“I don’t believe that Trinidad and Tobago gymnastics is being very fairly represented in the Olympics. The rules and policies used to get the secured spot were not transparent and they were not in the interest of fair play.”

Did Lewis believe that the TTOC’s decision to send Dick to Rio vindicated the TTGF?

“The international federation whose jurisdiction it is to say whether there were breaches in their rules and procedures,” said Lewis, in reference to what he described as the ‘curious’ FIG intervention, “confirmed on Friday 29 of April that there were no breaches of their breaches and procedures as it relates (to) the Olympic Test event.”

So how can the local Olympic committee take action against the TTGF for a decision that it deemed to be legal?

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis (far left) and games committee members (from right) Dr Terrence Ali, Ian Hypolite and Diane Henderson announce their decision to select gymnast Marisa Dick on their contingent for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on 2 May 2016. Missing from the photograph is games committee member Annette Knott who was abroad. (Courtesy Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) president Brian Lewis (far left) and games committee members (from right) Dr Terrence Ali, Ian Hypolite and Diane Henderson announce their decision to select gymnast Marisa Dick on their contingent for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on 2 May 2016.
Missing from the photograph is games committee member Annette Knott who was abroad.
(Courtesy Wired868)

“What we will focus on is the decision-making process and in the context of a duty to be fair,” Lewis told Wired868. “My thinking is that we will appoint an independent group because I don’t want anyone to perceive the TTOC as unfair or prejudiced or biased…

“We are going to look into that direction.”

There was no response to the ruling from Dick, although it is likely that she has returned to her home in Canada.

Her social media pages have been wiped clean of public comments, after she was targeted for abuse in recent weeks.

In contrast, it was a love-in on Williams’ pages.

Ifran tweeted to Thema: “I love you. We love you. Gawd girl this pain, this pain, if we could eat it for you we would. Trust that it’ll get better.”

Photo: To Thema with Love. Fans of Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Thema Williams offer support after the TTOC's decision to send Marisa Dick to the Rio 2016 Olympics on 2 May 2015.
Photo: To Thema with Love.
Fans of Trinidad and Tobago gymnast Thema Williams offer support after the TTOC’s decision to send Marisa Dick to the Rio 2016 Olympics on 2 May 2015.

Ameniki Safiya channelled pop star Beyoncé’s new album, which is seen as a symbol of defiance in the face of heartbreak: “You are amazing… Make your own #lemonade.”

As always, Williams was poised, economical and profound in her own public response.

“Who feels it,” she tweeted, “knows it.”

Photo: Thema Williams shares some art on Sunday 17 April 2016. (Courtesy Thema Williams)
Photo: Thema Williams shares some art on Sunday 17 April 2016.
(Courtesy Thema Williams)

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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172 comments

  1. Apart from the fact that seems an extremely naive view of what the word “contract” means, the TTOC told the TTGF that they had to stick to the contract since November 2015. The writer is simply ignorant of a lot of things and very one-eyed.
    Have you ever heard of a contract that is non-binding and that one party is free to ignore if it chooses?

  2. Dicks, Lue Shues, Dows, Anita Pelletier, Ovidiu Serban, FIG, TTGF, all closing ranks and protecting one another.

    Dick knows, and has known all along, that she is protected by friends in high places but she is going to be portrayed as an innocent victim to garnish support.

    Dick’s people are crafty at telling a very different story from the truth. Especially in Canada, the media there is naturally going to look to local sources for info. Or if they aren’t looking – it’s sent to them. Perhaps by Anita Pelletier, for example, or her club Ortona, or Dick’s mother.

    Everyone on this site knows the back story but the journalists getting info from Dick’s handlers may be completely unaware that they are known liars and manipulators. And that those liars aren’t just celebrating Dicks spot at the Olympics, they are on a PR mission now. Thus, there is selective information being printed in Canada or other sites geared toward gymnastics fans. The population of Edmonton and the surrounding towns is similar to that of all of Trinidad and Tobago. But the Gymnastics community is tight, so word will spread eventually.

    Never even heard of Gymternet until now. One of the better known gymnastics sites is chalkbucket dot com. And this site is mentioned there.

    I like to tell as many people as possible about this site, to respectfully point them in the direction where they can find out more information.

    Please continue spreading the word about this shameful moment, taking cues from Thema, with grace and dignity. The facts cannot be disputed.

  3. I’m not sure of the details of such contract although I’m aware that contracts were signed. The writer is suggesting that it didn’t bound the TTGF to anything and they could have changed their minds anytime they wanted.

  4. This is what the writer responded to a comment regarding the issue of the contract: “The contract was for the girls to sign so neither could argue against the selection. It did not bind the federation to anything, which is why Thema Williams had no legal recourse when they changed their minds and instead appealed to the public. There was zero “breaking” of the contract on part of the TTGF because it only bound the girls to the agreement that if one got the spot, the other couldn’t fight it. Maybe learn about what you’re talking about before you say anything three times.:)”

  5. Sure. Let me copy and paste though as I have been asked before:
    “Ok, let me go through bit by bit as I read.
    Quote: “The Trinidad & Tobago Gymnastics Federation, or TTGF, told its athletes that the gymnast to finish with the highest all-around score at worlds would automatically earn the test event spot, a bad decision in hindsight, as it is now responsible for one of the most ridiculously juvenile fights in gymnastics history…”
    In fact, the United States selects its Olympic gymnast based on a single trial event.
    Quote: “the TTGF simply didn’t realize how ludicrous this was until after it had already “promised” the spot to Williams”
    In fact, it wasn’t a “promise.” It was a written agreement.
    Quote: “It’s important to note that the TTGF’s initial selection procedure wasn’t legally binding and that since the test event spot was a non-nominative one – meaning it belonged to the federation, not to the athlete who earned it for the federation – there is no FIG rule in place that says the TTGF had to select Williams for the spot based on her worlds finish. This seems to be a topic of confusion for most reporting on this event in Trinidad, but even though the TTGF had originally decided to select an athlete based on worlds finishes, its directors and decision-makers had every right to change their minds”
    Fact, the author doesn’t understand the word “contract.”
    Quote: “The TTGF thus didn’t “break the rules,” as some press has accused them of doing, though it did unfortunately end up going back on its word.”
    Fact, well, I explained that already.
    Quote: “Naturally, those in Williams’ camp were upset, most notably her mother Helen Adams. Adams immediately went to the press, leaking emails from the TTGF and stating that Williams was the “automatic choice” based on the “selection policy established by TTGF.”
    Fact, Gymter doesn’t know who leaked the stories to the press. Interesting that it chooses to slander Thema Williams’ mother.
    Quote: “With the backlash from the press, the TTGF caved under pressure, saying Williams could have the spot without being tested in order to focus on her physical and mental preparation for the test event, with Dick to continue training as the alternate”
    Fact, the TTOC told the TTGF that it had to stick to its written selection criteria.
    Quote: “This is where things get dicey and where the only coverage has been entirely biased. So biased, in fact, that a television station in Trinidad reached out to me during the test event because they wanted to feature someone with an actual knowledge of the sport who wasn’t personally connected to either party.”
    Fact: Gymter said on Twitter that it KNEW Marisa Dick was accredited on April 15, which was before even the TTGF had completed its paperwork for that. (Although Dick was probably contacted by then). Gymter refused to give a deadline. Makes you wonder who their source is though.
    … After that, it goes into speculation and opinion and I couldn’t really go any further.

  6. So Lasana you have a “gossipy” sports web page? I almost choked with laughter

  7. I read the article. If I was Lasagna or Ms Adams I would have taken her to task with a defamation law suit but I have been told in the past I use a sledge hammer to kill ants. I read Lasana:’s responses and deleted my comments but someone has to shut this clown up … Harsh lessons are life’s most successful teacher.

  8. Lauren Hopkins is obviously singing for a supper via her blog. She is running a business. She needs to make money to meet her expenses and pay her bills from money she make from her blog.
    Question is how does she make money via her blog? Is it by paid for PR-styled opiniated writings?
    She needs to familiarize herself with the Olympic Charter and examine the facts surrounding her masked opinions and give an objective take on whether the TTGF breached any aspect of the charter in making a so-called business decision to insert its blue-eyed second-best athlete at the expense of the higher-ranked athlete, who earned the right, under TTGF rules, to represent TT at the Rio Test Event.
    It is indeed very sad that she opines that it is acceptable to break rules for a financial (economic) benefit. That alone is testimony to her warped sense of values.
    Quite frankly, Lasana Liburd is a far superior journalist than her masquerade under pretense.

  9. Still didn’t read where FIG has an established procedure that TTGF needed to follow to nominate gymnast to a TEST event! I believe TTGF is entitled to set their own criteria, which they did, and which was agreed to by all parties concerned, including both gymnasts’ camps.. Apparently they thought Marissa would have easily outscored Thema at worlds.. they never even tried to add another qualifying event, but chose to undermine Thema – their emails confirm that they never wanted to send her.. and in hindsight it seems FIG was already aware of this…enter Thema’s coach with the cake, icing, ice cream.. as I said in another post. “Marissa fails to qualify.. cries (according to her mother) gets the spot… in a nutshell.. smh

  10. Not surprised at all. This how we are. I will not even watch her performance. God donot sleep.

  11. That’s what public officials do, they put themselves in the spotlight instead the athlete

  12. TTOC would have been better off sending nobody and facing a lawsuit no matter the cost – with the current public sentiment they could have easily started a crowdfund to cover legal fees and any compensation that would possibly have to be paid out to Dick. Better that than the current situation where people are withdrawing/threatening to withhold financial support to TTOC (affecting the whole delegation) because of failure to stand up for ethics and fair play in this situation. By the way, looking at Rule 44(3) (p.83 in the pdf) it says final decision to admit entry to the games rests with the IOC and nobody is entitled as of right to participate in the Olympic Games… maybe a huge petition to the IOC is in order here? Just thinking out loud… http://www.olympic.org/Documents/olympic_charter_en.pdf

    • I don’t know. A petition was started to get the TTGF defunded two weeks ago and it’s struggling to get to 5000. (It’s currently at 3100+). Meanwhile, the petition to raise the speed limit has crossed 5000 in 3 days. People might be peeved by what the TTGF has done and it’s unjust treatment of Thema, but they haven’t been galvanized into action yet….

    • I still can’t believe the Lewis and Co caved in like that. After all the gun talk the whole country looking to you as the last bastion of decency and fair play. Yes we would have willingly contributed if it came down to a lawsuit. Because it was the right thing to do. I don’t understand how they didn’t get it! Maybe money pass? ??

    • If I was the TTOC, I’d have taken the advice of my lawyer too. Trinidadians too fickle. By the time the law suit decided and they lose, Trinis done forget what happened and good luck getting any crowd funding. In fact, many would say then that the TTOC dotish and should have taken the legal advice and they look for that. I hate what has happened but at the end of the day, the TTOC must also be responsible.

    • Alana Morton I guess you’re right… just can’t easily accept that this is the end of the road and wrong wins here…

    • Neither can I. It’s vexing at best and rather depressing. The way forward now is to fix the TTGF so they can’t do this again. That board must go and the changes to the Constitution as recommended, must be made. Too many NSOs are run badly and in the end, they hurt the athletes they are supposed to be representing and abuse public trust.

    • Camille how does that get the TTGF out of office?

      The TTOC gets sued and Thema still has to operate under the TTGF. And they won’t be as careless as they were this time around.

      Am I disappointed? Of course!! But we’re losing sight of the big picture and what the tribunal means. And it’s nothing to sneeze at.

      My 2c.

    • Nicole Philip Greene, I was just thinking about what is possible to address public anger over the fact that T&T taxpayers will be paying for a self-confessed ‘Canadian at heart’ to go to Rio when the test event spot was taken from Thema in such an egregious manner. They say it aint over til the fat lady sings, and I just thought maybe TTOC’s word on this doesn’t have to be the last. That’s totally separate from the issue of disbanding the current TTGF board and dealing with the local administration issues, which is also of course crucially important to avoid another travesty like this recurring. Fully agree with you there.

    • Camille Richards I sincerely believe there was a lot more going on there than we know. Time will tell maybe?

      Having said that, yes, I felt greatly disappointed that the TTGF would get their way. But maybe they won’t have their cake and eat it too.

    • Pretty soon the TTGF will not only have their cake and eat it but they will open a bakery with all the funding that will be coming their way from participating in the Olympics as the smallest nation state to be a participant. Marquez and the Lue Shues will be Master Bakers and Trinis with their short memories, always ‘quick to anger and quick to forget and forgive’ , according to Dr. Eric Williams, will be lining up begging for cake and icing to boot ! This is the Land of the Nine Day Wonder and the injustice will be forgotten.

  13. Smh…. This whole situation is so unjust. More and more it appears as if what the TTGF did was premeditated. I think they would have switched Thema regardless of Geddert’s report since it appears as if they were prepared to breach the contract. Imagine Marquez is head of the delegation and he’s here in Trinidad and not Rio… What utter…. So as HOD he decided, sight unseen? Then Lue Shue’s incestuous relationship with the FIG; FIG’s complicity in the whole sordid affair and of course, the Dicks’ unrelenting campaign to get Marisa in at all and any cost… Even if they had to do a Tonya Harding on Thema. #Disgusting

  14. … Seems …representative of some the values currently permeating various spheres of our society…!

  15. I don’t care if she win gold. She is not getting my support, I am not supporting dishonesty.

  16. Hahaha I’m sure she is. See bullshit doesn’t thrive under applied pressure.

  17. If you check my Twitter page now you will see the author backpedalling mighty fast on some of her “facts.”

  18. What can I say, all the best!!!

  19. Hence why I skimmed. Every line could be argued and discredited. Every. Line.

  20. so who is going to respond to Gymter?

  21. The TTGF realized they made a selection boo-boo, but they should have abided with that decision, then the coach gave them an out…they seized it, blame the damn coach

  22. Nah. It’s worth a skim and a chuckle. I mean if you want to really go in it’s easy to rip it to shreds but I don’t think they are worth the energy. Right now I’m irritated that Scotland and den taking so long to make a statement. Geez. Gymter could kiss my…..(keep it classy beo. Keep it classy)

  23. Will read it later. Really haven’t yet. But I guess I shouldn’t expect much.

  24. Thank you! They are so dim it’s not even funny. Except it is. About who is a “rag” and who isn’t a real journalist??? Lolol

  25. Haven’t read it but confirmed my immediate suspicion. Gymter told Nicole Green on Twitter that the accreditation was done on Friday so the questions being asked by Wired868 and others was nonsense.
    Now the TTGF themselves said they didn’t complete paperwork for accreditation until after midnight.
    So Gymter had to be told by Marisa Dick. Or they had to be whoever it is from the FIG that told TTGF that they would have their back.
    Whichever scenario, they claimed to know something that didn’t happen yet.
    Whatever they might be, they are not independent. They are only pretending to be.

  26. Haven’t read it but confirmed my immediate suspicion. Gymter told Nicole Green on Twitter that the accreditation was done on Friday so the questions being asked by Wired868 and others was nonsense.
    Now the TTGF themselves said they didn’t complete paperwork for accreditation until after midnight.
    So Gymter had to be told by Marisa Dick. Or they had to be whoever it is from the FIG that told TTGF that they would have their back.
    Whichever scenario, they claimed to know something that didn’t happen yet.
    Whatever they might be, they are not independent. They are only pretending to be.

    • smh really? *sigh* so much bs flying…

    • Is that sports website without knowledge this site? lol

    • I find it purely objective, where is the bias?

    • The coach bears the shame here.. I will maintain this to my grave.

    • This Geddert character..sold his charge down the river

    • I don’t have the patience to disect the entire article.. But I note her (not so subtle) sleight of hand in making key points… As for Geddert, he had a brain burp, and the predators pounced…

    • I don’t care about the entire article, just the biased parts

    • Ok, let me go through bit by bit as I read.
      Quote: “The Trinidad & Tobago Gymnastics Federation, or TTGF, told its athletes that the gymnast to finish with the highest all-around score at worlds would automatically earn the test event spot, a bad decision in hindsight, as it is now responsible for one of the most ridiculously juvenile fights in gymnastics history…”
      In fact, the United States selects its Olympic gymnast based on a single trial event.
      Quote: “the TTGF simply didn’t realize how ludicrous this was until after it had already “promised” the spot to Williams”
      In fact, it wasn’t a “promise.” It was a written agreement.
      Quote: “It’s important to note that the TTGF’s initial selection procedure wasn’t legally binding and that since the test event spot was a non-nominative one – meaning it belonged to the federation, not to the athlete who earned it for the federation – there is no FIG rule in place that says the TTGF had to select Williams for the spot based on her worlds finish. This seems to be a topic of confusion for most reporting on this event in Trinidad, but even though the TTGF had originally decided to select an athlete based on worlds finishes, its directors and decision-makers had every right to change their minds”
      Fact, the author doesn’t understand the word “contract.”
      Quote: “The TTGF thus didn’t “break the rules,” as some press has accused them of doing, though it did unfortunately end up going back on its word.”
      Fact, well, I explained that already.
      Quote: “Naturally, those in Williams’ camp were upset, most notably her mother Helen Adams. Adams immediately went to the press, leaking emails from the TTGF and stating that Williams was the “automatic choice” based on the “selection policy established by TTGF.”
      Fact, Gymter doesn’t know who leaked the stories to the press. Interesting that it chooses to slander Thema Williams’ mother.
      Quote: “With the backlash from the press, the TTGF caved under pressure, saying Williams could have the spot without being tested in order to focus on her physical and mental preparation for the test event, with Dick to continue training as the alternate”
      Fact, the TTOC told the TTGF that it had to stick to its written selection criteria.
      Quote: “This is where things get dicey and where the only coverage has been entirely biased. So biased, in fact, that a television station in Trinidad reached out to me during the test event because they wanted to feature someone with an actual knowledge of the sport who wasn’t personally connected to either party.”
      Fact: Gymter said on Twitter that it KNEW Marisa Dick was accredited on April 15, which was before even the TTGF had completed its paperwork for that. (Although Dick was probably contacted by then). Gymter refused to give a deadline. Makes you wonder who their source is though.
      … After that, it goes into speculation and opinion and I couldn’t really go any further.

    • Lasana Liburd thanks. that is real bias indeed..lol

    • The woman doesn’t even understand what a contract is

    • The US doesn’t ever select “its Olympic gymnast” as it always selects a team. On the women’s side only the top finisher is guaranteed a spot. The other team members are picked by a selection panel so obviously they’re not (always) picking off of the results of the trials otherwise there would be no need for a selection panel. And up to two athletes can take part in the Olympic all round competition so under the US selection system, you can come second in the trial and not make the team.
      Not trying to get into it with anybody, but if we’re going to be factual, then let’s be factual.

    • I am not talking about the team Chabeth.

    • Maybe I’m wrong, Lasana and I’ll gladly apologize if I am.
      But to the best of my knowledge there is only one Olympic trials for USA gymnastics. It’s a two day event at the end of which they select the team.
      The gymnasts get into the all around competition at the Olympics based on their results in the team competition of the Olympics.
      I think it’s four athletes per team who are allowed to compete on each apparatus but they only take the top three scores towards the overall team score. At the end of the team competition the athletes with the highest 24 individual scores get into the individual competition but only with a maximum of 2 per country.
      So idk that there’s a different team trial and individual trial for the Olympics.

    • Ok. I get you. Well for team then. Point is it is done that way as well with single event criteria. Trinidad and Tobago didn’t invent that

    • Lol. But I’m saying it’s not single event criteria since they don’t just take the top five. They only take the top one which means the selection panel takes into account other factors since they’re not just taking the top five from the trials. But no worries. I’m probably not explaining myself well.

    • Lasana Liburd send this to Brian Lewis and the Ministry of Sport.

  27. Marisa u did not make d cut to b on d canadian team…so instead stings got pulled n u took away another young athlete like yourself dreams…how do you sleep.

  28. Dick will always go down as a thief In history for me

  29. The fallout from this decision by the TTOC ain’t hit them yet. Hopefully they reading the comments on all the news stories. They will get a feel for how much disgust Trinis feeling right now. Their entire Olympic campaign will suffer. Support for the other athletes will be mediocre because to support the TTOC is to support their lack of fortitude in dealing with the issue. They just rolled over an took their licks from the TTGF and FIG. They knew that the entire country was looking to them to stand up for what is right and they failed big time.

  30. who paying her them millions? The FIg said the athlete change was lawful

  31. At the very least I hope, Thema’s lawyers can make her a millionaire because of this! #dickheads

  32. So tell me, why both of them couldn’t be allowed to represent this country? This is so embarrassing to say the least and disrespectful to all the athletes that put out everything for this country. Different day, same shit. The Minister of Sports better do something, and set new precedents. Trinidad and Tobago will continue to be laughed at by the rest of my world.

  33. We may be a small 3rd world country but what if this were to get out during Olympics. How will people react to a country not supporting their own because of these unfair decisions? Aren’t these people fearful of the backlash? What if it makes international news? O, I guess Marisa and her mother will then be famous. At first I thought they were just caught in the middle. But now it seems as though they wanted to get this spot from Thema all along. I mean Dick placed 18 places behind Thema. Many people attend Olympics with injuries. It does not stop them from competing unless it it something really serious. The doctor cleared Thema. These people were in a hurry to replace Thema with Marisa awhile now. This is definitely unfair not just to Thema but to the citizens of this country. You basically deprived us of our choice to want to support.

  34. The TTOC should have send no one at all and stand up for justice and righteousness instead they bowed and allowed the wicked to flourish.

  35. And again in Trinidad boboll and corruption prevails. Business as usual

  36. It will be the first time I dont support the red white and black. Cheaters never win.

  37. I will not support the dick in this fiasco. Clearly there is no fair play in gymnastics in tnt.

  38. Dawn what Banana Republic you talking about? Is a Green Fig Republic..we eh even reach Banana status yet

  39. Why are people so surprised by this decision. This is the way things are done in our banana republic , where greed, corruption, nepotism, racism, inequity and injustice are the “values” embraced and promoted by those in charge
    in almost every sphere of activity in the country. Injustice and unfairness is the daily diet of many in T&T. We see it in SEA placements, the selection process for certain faculties at UWI, awarding of government contracts, selection for HDC housing etc. The list is unending. We continue to accept the nonsense and wonder why these things happen. We are reaping the whirlwind that we have sown.

  40. Marissa Dick and her mothet should be ashamed to show their faces in this country after what they did .You will go down in history as a thief.

  41. It is indeed a sad day as we teach our children to lie in order to get what, they know in their hearts, is not rightfully theirs

  42. I suspect talk of action against the TTGF is all bluster on Lewis’s part. Just like it was bluster when he threatened not to send Dick to the Olympics. Just like it’s bluster on the part of Williams’s attorneys. Folks might think the TTGF acted unfairly but it looks like they acted within their authority.

    • Really? I’m not thrilled with the decision either. But the TTOC separated the issues:
      1. Perceived punishment of the athlete for federation mismanagement.
      2. Investigating the TTGF’s procedures and claimed breach of agreement.

      Brian Lewis is the president. The Games committee is not one man. I think Lasana has laid that out fairly clearly.

      Now we await the independent tribunal.

    • Nicole Philip Greene I think Lewis and Thema’s attorneys are playing with your minds and emotions. There’s nothing more they can do here.

    • Erline Andrews I hope you’ll pardon me while I maintain focus on the actual agreements in place and facts surrounding this, rather than being assured nothing can be done while still being unclear on basic facts of this case.

  43. What rules did the TTGF break that Geddert and the Tots and Tumblers woman mention? Wasn’t there a clause in the contract with Williams that said they could withdraw her in the event of injury?

  44. Thinking about it, I wonder if John Geddert mentioned asking Thema to withdraw in that final report as a CYA in case she didn’t qualify. I still blame him primarily for the whole fiasco.

  45. So the Canadians get an extra paid spot and Trinidad gets salt! in 2016. And the ‘enlightened ones’ still push the mantra of “it’s in the past” and “forget it.”

  46. What has happened here is what for centuries Trinidad and Tobago has always promoted as a subculture. . .we have always allowed our friends and family to secure positions that we knowingly belong to more qualified, talented and experienced person’s knowing full well they are unable to do the job. It is an evil we perpetuate daily. So many ppl have been hurt and sideline by this evil practice it not funny. We never consider the emotional and psychological burdens we place on person’s in these situations because we put ambition and greed over integrity and process. It is an evil way we have and Thema has been made to suffer this fate because we have never stood as a nation to say we do not accept this as a way of life.

  47. I’ll be gladly supporting Jamaica since they realize value in the home grown and the honest

  48. Another sad day in T n T…..TYCO is gonna feel from this decision ….guaranteed

  49. I will never support this young lady in the Olympics ..
    #Marissaout

  50. Having seen Trinidad and Tobago selection of various sports during the years nothing surprise me anymore. Shame on us. Shame on incompetence and corruption. Shame.

  51. Sorry not supporting Dick via the Olympics….. #foul

  52. Slapped with a pre action protocol letter followed with a “we are very grateful…”?
    Hit them fast. And hit them hard.
    No mercy. Don’t let Ramesh drag this case through the mud for months. Get. It. Done!

  53. We have proven that we are indeeed a 2 by 4 country !!!!!

  54. Imagine a bunch of incompetents are allowed to deny this once in a lifetime opportunity to a professional athlete, who earned her spot to represent her country. How much more wrong can this be? And YES I also hold Marissa Dick responsible for the part she played in this grave injustice. #despicableDICK

  55. So the ttoc was supposed to expose itself to legal action? And who will pay when they lose in court? Bc that is exactly what would have happened ?

    • So what? When you make your decisions based on principle, fairness, transparency, facts and in the spirit of Olympism…YOU WILL NEVER LOSE! We should never cower to cronyism, nepotism and skulduggery.

    • Kenneth H. Ransome Jr. It’s so sickening when blatant discrimination/favoritism causes folk to compromise their leadership roles. It’s so prevalent in T&T sports… they need to stop. What a poor form of role modeling!

    • the court rules on due process. The TTGF and Dicks have a strong case, not the TTOC.

    • What’s this morbid fear of litigation From Dick? So there’s no fear of litigation by Thema who was denied an opportunity to which she was legitimately entitled, due to apparent bias?

    • I think its easier for me to just copy my status.

    • Had the TTOC refused the spot, it was almost certain that TTGF/The Dicks would have commenced legal action.
      In the end, remove all emotions, this is the summary:
      TTGF agreed that the athlete who performs the best at Worlds last year would have been selected to compete in the Olympics test event. Did TTGF honour that agreement? YES
      TTGF will argue that, after the coach’s email, they did follow due process as much as was reasonably possible:
      Once coach’s email was sent, did they try to contact him for “clarification?” YES
      Who knows, they may have rang his phone ONLY twice to ensure the call registered to prove that they did try to contact him. Can that be proven in court? NO
      TTGF will argue that despite the need to consult the coach, they made the best decision in the interest of T&T and not an individual-at “great cost/inconvenience” to the replacement athlete-Ms. Dick
      Do we think that the TTGF had the country’s best interest at heart when that decision was made? NO
      Can we prove that in court? NO
      Ms. Dick went ahead at “great” risk, performed, and qualified. How does the TTOC defend a decision to refuse the spot when an athlete legitimately qualified?
      Do you think a decision like that will prove to the court that the TTOC had country or individual interest at heart? The same spirit of fairness that we are saying should be provided to Thema, is also due to Marisa-unfortunately, in this situation.
      In the end, intentions and “what we think or think we know” seldom stand up in court. Had the TTOC refused the spot, it was subjecting itself to serious legal action. Its case would have been weak.
      Take emotions out of this, and understand that there was only one possible, responsible decision the TTOC could have made, given the circumstances.
      So now, explain to me how the TTOC is a sell-out?

    • The TTOC is a sellout because its leadership vacillated in assuring that theTTGF stick to its ruling that the selection would be based on the results from worlds. The moment TTGF moved the goal post, the TTOC should have put them in-check. TTOC failed to do so effectively. No one should be afraid of legal action once your position is from a state of fairness, openness, and transparency. Legal action should not have prevented the TTOC from making its decision based on principle. The decisions of all sporting organizations in T&T need to be principle-based, done in the spirit of the sport and in this case in the spirit of Olympism! The TTGF’s decisions were unequivocally based on cronyism/favoritism observed the moment they changed the goal post and further assured when the quickly jumped to discipline Thema over common behavior of sports women around the world. TTOC is a sell-out. The organization is devoid on testicular fortitude, principled decision-making and vision.

    • Sticking to the selection based on worlds would mean sending Thema which FIG will not accept because she not qualify in the test event.

    • Real Greaves So does Thema. Her case is stronger because it is based in facts not subjectivity.

    • Yes, but her case is strong against whom? The TTGF? The TTOC?

    • Real Greaves Of course Thema did not do the test and it’s whom FIG will not recognize. FIG cannot interfere with T&T sporting affairs. That’s why the incompetence of TTOC is do blatantly ridiculous and shameful.

    • Im not understanding. The TTOC had two choices: to accept the spot or dont accept it..If they accepted it, they cant send Thema. If they did not accept it, TTGF and the Dicks have strong legal cases. How does that make them incompetent?

    • Real Greaves Thema case is strong against the TTGF, clearly that’s whom she is suing. She cannot sue FIG because FIG has no business in T&T affairs. TTOC was wrong in saying that FIG threw them under the bus That was passing the buck. Another sign of the gross weakness of the TTOC leadership.

    • If only the Court really operated this simple. Sorry dear….Your statement of case will be but the start. There will be numerous affidavits, claims and counter claims. Truth is that the decision by the TTGF cannot pass scrutiny at any level. The TTOC acted cowardly.

    • Real Greaves TTOC should have addressed the matter the moment TTGF moved the goal post. That’s lack of foresight and gross incompetence.

    • RIGHT, so her case is against the TTFG, not the TTOC…so how is the TTOC weak? sigh. I cant agree with this. TTGF is shit tho and should be dismembered but the TTOC did what was legally right and in the interest of the country.

    • Real Greaves TTOC is weak because its leadership vacillated when TTGF was changing the selection progress. Then they waited for the FIG to make a decision when the FIG has no say in T&T sporting affairs. That’s idiocy on the part of the TTOC compounding by the leadership of the TTOC implying, today, the FIG threw them under the bus. That’s weak leadership!

    • In Trinidad and Tobago, there will always be folk making excuses for poor leadership and mamangenet. That’s the prime reason, in my book, that corruption, nepotism, cronyism and financial inappropriateness is so prevalent in T&T. When in comes to corruption we are so complacent and so tolerant of it that it’s ridiculous.

    • the FIG determines who is sent to the Olympics. They had no choice but to adhere to FIG’s decision or refuse the spot. We run things here, not there. Our mess has nothing to do with FIG’s process and standards.

    • Paula Trini Ayoung yep, they passed the buck to FIG. The decision should have been no one goes because of TTGF’s gross favoritism for one athlete over the our. Ridiculous to defend such behavior. RIDICULOUS!

    • Yes the TTOC should have exposed themselves to legal action – at the end of the day integrity should never be abandoned on the idea that it might cost too much.

  56. Legitimized by the TTOC leadership’s lack of testicular fortitude and principle-based decision-making… TTGF could boldly say without shame… “We are grateful!” Boy, T&T sports are at its lowest. TTGF’s arrogance is profound.

  57. It is without question that I love my country and every national sport/event that showcases the RED, WHITE and BLACK of Trinidad and Tobago. It is a sense of pride that follows its citizens across time and to every corner of this far reaching planet..and absolutely no one can take that away from a son or daughter of this blessed soil.

    The TTOC and by extension the TTGF have awakened a sleeping giant in the form the Trinidad and Tobago public..and I guarantee you that the support you seek will dwindle one miserable drop at a time until the wrongs are undone and fair play and ethical behavior can once again become the cornerstone of this situation.. This entire episode has managed to highlight some of the most basic and troubling sins of this life whilst certainly embarrassing our nation on the world stage yet again.

    Brian Lewis you ought to understand that if the other athletes suffer because of lack of support from the public, it is because you chose to uphold clear wrong doing and by those actions have demonstrated a lack of balls to ensure that people in authority are held accountable. Despite your threats of action, those who did the deed were well aware and willing to stand those soft consequences once they had their way.

    Don’t just hear the citizens.. Listen to them!!

    • They dont care! It’s all an act! Behind doors they r all friends

    • He huffed and puffed like he da boss and then cowardly drew back. Very disappointed but not surprised. Everyday I see this attitude prevalent in our country. ‘Wrong and strong’ attitude. Just drive the streets of T&T on a morning and you will see it, zipping down the shoulder of the highway. Too many people do not care to do what is right in this place. TTOC proved that today. Smh

  58. One move stolen
    One spot unlawfully taken
    My country’s heart is broken
    My support you will never awaken

  59. Ah wouldn’t like to say what ah wish!!

  60. Do we know if the TTGF is an LLC?

  61. national enquirer u really playing this race thing! now with beyonce lyrics..Geddert is d dark cloud gone- we dont want no #whiteman

  62. What the sports minster hav to say???