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A COLD DAY IN MOSCOW by Rae Samuel

posted 12 Aug 2013, 15:43 by Gerry Kangalee
Things suddenly turned cold for Kelly Ann Baptiste, even as Usain Bolt was 'toastin' on stage in Moscow for adoring fans. This guy is really huge in terms of star power, but the media would have been pursuing Kelly for an entirely different reason. 

Kelly has been charged, repeat, has been charged with a doping offence. The nature and scale of the offence is not known. But being accused of a doping violation in track and field is virtually the equivalent of being charged with a sex crime. Also reports of her leaving Moscow give her an "Edward Snowden" image, a fugitive in full flight.  

Even as we 'hold we head and bawl", (one of my coaches, when I told him the news said, "Oh gawd, don't give me a stroke here this morning'') even as we feel it, there are a certain questions we need to ask. Where and when did she fail the test? Why was Kelly in the village in the first place if she tested positive?  

Information of this kind is released according to a protocol which starts with the athlete's home federation being advised. It is hard to imagine this being told to the athlete or team managers, while she was on the warm up track; similarly for Semoy Hackett, her "Tobago" co-defendant. I will return to that in a while. 

Semoy had been banned for a violation, was cleared to run by NAAA, and pending an appeal by IAAF to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, her ban was re-instated. Was the ban re-imposed at the Games village? There is much to be cleared up. The local federation has promised a statement but one imagines a press conference is more in order.

One of the dailies reported that Mr. Orville London was unavailable for comment. One wonders why the Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly is specifically asked to comment on matters of track and field. Which politician is asked to comment on Dwayne Bravo's captaincy? Herbert Volney? 

Is this notoriously backward paper saying Tobago let us down? Like Canada disowned Ben Johnson after he failed a drugs test at the Seoul 1988 Olympics? In the USA, home of Lance Armstrong , Alex Rodriguez and Marion Jones, they are suggesting that Latinos are the real drug cheats in baseball because so many of them have been banned along with Rodriguez. I guess Barry Bonds is really a dark skinned Mexican.

Fortunately, Winston "Gypsy'' Peters, acting Minister of Sport was unavailable for comment, according to the same newspaper. Maybe there is a God after all
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