The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC), which is headed by president Brian Lewis, has denied suggestions that Dr Ian Hypolite abdicated or delegated his duties as chef de mission during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, despite his numbers sessions on air as an analyst with ESPN.
Hypolite, according to the TTOC, “maintained ongoing communication with team officials during and after the disqualification” of the men’s 4×400 relay team and ensured that “all aspects of the procedures related to lodging a protest against a disqualification were in fact followed”, although he was in the ESPN studio at the time.
The following is a full statement from the TTOC:
The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) has noted the sentiments and statements surrounding the role of the Chef de Mission at the recently concluded Rio Games 2016. The TTOC has further noted the specific questions concerning the role of Dr Ian Hypolite as Chef de Mission for Team TTO and his role as an analyst on the inaugural Caribbean focused coverage of the Olympic Games.
The TTOC confirms that at no time during the four weeks of Team TTO’s participation in the Rio Games—including the pre-games camp—did the Chef de Mission either abdicate his role or delegate any of his duties. The TTOC therefore affirms that Dr Hypolite discharged all of the responsibilities assigned to him as Chef de Mission.
The TTOC also wishes to clarify that in the matters related to the disqualification of the TTO Men’s Relay Teams, the duty to lodge a protest with the IOC officials, rested with a specific team official, who discharged this duty according to protocol and that such a duty did not rest primarily with the Chef de Mission.
We are also satisfied that Dr Hypolite maintained ongoing communication with team officials during and after the disqualification, ensuring that all aspects of the procedures related to lodging a protest against a disqualification were in fact followed.
The TTOC appreciates that information related to the duties and procedures of officials supporting a country’s delegation may not rest in the public domain and in light of the recent circumstances, the TTOC is prepared to bring more information to the public’s attention, as it relates to team officials, as part of the TTOC’s ongoing marketing and brand transformation agenda.
The TTOC thanks the national community for their ongoing support and constructive involvement in the progress of achieving 10 or more Olympic Gold Medals by the year 2024.