Tag: Mike Sands

Nacac Says Miller-Uibo’S Concerns ‘Require Urgent Attention Of World Athletics’

SALWA EID NASER, of Bahrain, right, reacts after winning the gold medal while being congratulated by silver medallist Shaunae Miller-Uibo, of the Bahamas, after the women’s 400 metre final at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, on Thursday, October 3, 2019.
 (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

SALWA EID NASER, of Bahrain, right, reacts after winning the gold medal while being congratulated by silver medallist Shaunae Miller-Uibo, of the Bahamas, after the women’s 400 metre final at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, on Thursday, October 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

By Brent Stubbs

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

#North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) is supporting Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo in questioning why World Athletics didn’t penalise women’s 400 metre world champion Salwa Eid Naser from Bahrain for apparently missing a series of drug testing.

#Following her emphatic triumph on October 5, 2019 at the World Championships in Doha, Qatar over Miller-Uibo, World Athletics provisionally suspended Naser on January 5, 2020 for failing to make herself available for three drug testings during a span of 12 months.

#However, on October 20, World Athletics’ Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) cleared Naser of any wrongdoing and dropped all charges against her, allowing her to hold onto her gold medal and be eligible to compete in the postponed 2020 Olympic Games, which will now be held in Tokyo, Japan in 2021.

#Miller-Uibo, 26, questioned why the 22-year-old Naser wasn’t suspended – possibly for two years.World Athletics, the world governing body for the sport, has not yet released any statement in response to Miller-Uibo’s plea.

#However, three weeks later, NACAC, the governing body for the sport in the region headed by Bahamian Mike Sands as president, issued a statement yesterday stating that having thoroughly examined the circumstances that led to the recent comments of Miller-Uibo on the recent ruling of the Athletes Integrity Unit (AIU) against Naser and that their Athletes Commission is throwing their support behind the Bahamian multiple national record holder.

#“We are mindful that in the case of Salwa Eid Naser, the terms of the delays in the charges being brought sometimes happens because the Anti-Doping Organisations with results management responsibility need to be thorough in their investigations before alleging the commission of an anti-doping rule violation,” the NACAC statement read.

#“Nevertheless our Athletes Commission nonetheless feels that many of the concerns raised by Mrs Uibo are valid and require the urgent attention of World Athletics if it is to sustain the confidence of athletes in the system and, ultimately, in the sport,” the statement read.”

#The statement further stated that athletes are required and are held accountable for their actions and rightfully so, however, many are convinced that the process is inconsistent. The process is not at all uniform across the globe to such an extent that many are of the view that some athletes will always get the benefit of the doubt given the perceived inconsistencies.

#“There has to be greater accountability on the part of athletes regarding whereabouts filings but we also believe that the process applied in dealing with whereabouts failures could be more explicitly outlined,” the release noted.

#“Rather than having the option to provide explanatory notes, this should be a requirement. Inconsistency in the application of rules, regulations and laws is one of the most frustrating things for athletes.”

#Nigerian-born Naser clocked a personal best time of 48.14 seconds, becoming the first Asian woman to win the 400m at the World Championships. Her time placed her third on the 400m all-time list behind only world record holder Marita Kock (47.60) and Jamila Kratochvilova (47.99).

#In the process, Miller-Uibo had to settle for second place in a national and area record of 48.37 for sixth place on the all-time list.

#In her statement last month, Miller-Uibo said her concern was not just with the athlete missing four tests and having the charges dismissed.

#“It’s with the international federation and the integrity unit that was assembled to protect this sport,” she stated. “In my opinion, the World Athletics and the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) were caught with their hands in the cookie jar as it pertains to this case. I was interested to see how this turn of events would transpire.

#“I think this strengthens the need for an independent body to serve alongside the World Athletics appointed athlete representatives. With the independent athletes’ body, more accountability will be given as we try our best to rebuild trust and integrity in our beloved sport…I cry foul play and I believe there is a deeper explanation on how the World Athletics along with the AIU allowed this to carry on to this extent.”

#Ultimately, AIU determined the doping control officer (DCO) inadvertently knocked on the wrong door during Naser’s third whereabouts failure on April 12, thus nullifying their decision not to suspend her.

#NACAC said of some concern is the matter of the options available to athletes who are aggrieved with the operations and/or decisions of the AIU.

#“To whom can the athletes turn in such instances? The operations and/or decisions of the AIU. To whom can the athletes turn in such instances? We, therefore, understand Shaunae’s advocacy as we do her right to speak out on matters deemed pertinent to the cause of all athletes,” the statement further read.

#“Regular dialogue is critical in this process. We insist that we are all accountable regardless of where we are located in the sport’s global structure.”

#As president of NACAC, Sands sits around the executive table of World Athletics, having replaced Pauline Davis-Thompson, the immediate past councilwoman, who previously represented the region.

#World Athletics is headed by Sebastian Coe, whom Miller-Uibo called upon to provide a response detailing each step of all the failures that unfolded since the case began.

Mike Sands: ‘We Have To Get The Message Out About Who Is Nacac’

Mike Sands outlines his plans for NACAC. Photo: Terrel Carey.

Mike Sands outlines his plans for NACAC. Photo: Terrel Carey.

By Brent Stubbs

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

#THE North American, Central American and the Caribbean (NACAC), in its bid to bridge the gap in all aspects of the region, hosted a virtual meeting with the media to ascertain the way forward and, in particular, the highly acclaimed CARIFTA GamView Post

#The meeting was hosted by NACAC’s newly elected president Mike Sands and facilitated by Trinidad & Tobago’s journalist Kwame Laurence and local photographer Kermit Taylor and events manager Dianne Woodside-Johnson.

#Sands, who was accompanied by Keith Jones, NACAC’s …ecretary general from St Vincent & the Grenadines, took the opportunity to hear the views and concerns of Laurence and Taylor about the role the media plays and from Woodside-Johnson on the management of events like the CARIFTA Games.

#The 49th version of the top junior regional track and field games was scheduled for Hamilton, Bermuda in April, but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. In preparing for a rescheduled event next year, NACAC got the imput from the media on how they could make the event a successful one.

#“I think it’s a first good step in the right direction. I was pleased with the turnout of the area media. We were able to develop a relationship with the media so we can share what we are doing and not just keep it in a vacuum,” Sands said.

#“By the same token, we got to hear the concerns of the media because if we are going to see them as partners and to work with them in tandem, we made it our objective to engage in dialogue.”

#Sands, a former athlete turned executive of the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations and now the NACAC president and a representative on the board of World Athletics, the governing body for the sport, said they need the media to get the word out about what they are doing.

#“While we have some of the best athletes performing around the world, we have to get the message out about who is NACAC, the region that they represent,” Sands said.

#“So the main way to get that message out is to develop a relationship with the press.

#“We don’t just want to tell the individual stories of the athletes by country, but we want to tell them about the region they represent and what NACAC is doing on behalf of these athletes who perform for the region.”

#As a result of the meeting, Sands said they have identified Laurence, an accomplished sports writer at the Trinidad Express, as the liaison person, who will provide a formulated plan from the media that will be presented to NACAC for their consideration.

#“We will look at it and see what is durable and equitable for all of us and then we will look at implementing them,” he said. “The ball is now back in the hands of the media to come back to us with their recommendations so that we can consider what was shared.”

#More than 20 people from throughout the region logged onto the virtual platform and shared in the question-and-answer period that followed the presentations by Laurence, Taylor and Woodside-Johnson.

#Laurence, who covered his first CARIFTA Games in 1997 in Barbados, said one of the major concerns for the media is the inconsistency that is created by the local organising committees of the respective host countries from year to year.

#He called for a standard document that should be produced by NACAC that will outline the guidelines for the media’s participation at the games, including the removal of the $100.00 fee that is sometimes levied to the media to do their job when there is no charge for international events like the World Championships.

#In consistent with what is done by World Athletics, the world’s governing body for the sport, Laurence said NACAC needs to ensure that the media is given finish-line seating with proper work stations, internet access before, during and after each day’s session, a proper mixed zone to interview the athletes when they have completed their events, workable results websites and media hotels and bus transportation to and from the venue in a timely fashion.

#Taylor, a former public relations officer for the BAAA and the founder/producer of Bahamas Athletics, talked about his personal experiences in attending various international events like the World Youth and Junior Championships to the World Championships and the challenges he and other photographers are faced with in covering the CARIFTA Games.

#Taylor called for NACAC to identify a photographer manager, whose responsibility it would be to ensure that the photographers are given the free reign to take pictures of the athletes as they compete at various angles of the track and field stadium.

#And Woodside-Johnson, a former hurdler turned coach, provided a detailed account of the role she played as the events manager for such international meets as the World Relays and the Chris ‘Fireman’ Brown Invitational staged in the Bahamas.

#Woodside-Johnson, the founder of the dismantled Club Monica Track Club and former head coach of her alma mater the Big Red Machine at St Augustine’s College, also served as head coach and manager of a number of national teams representing the Bahamas, including the 2012 Olympic Games (as the first Bahamian female assistant coach) and the 2017 World Championships (as the first Bahamian female head coach), both in London, England. 

NACAC, Sands speak out against racism

Mike SandsJune 15, 2020Sheldon Longley0433Views

Given the current climate in the United States, and indeed throughout the world, following the death of African American George Floyd while under arrest, a number of sporting bodies are speaking out against systemic racism and social justice.

One of the latest organizations to come forth and offer its position is the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC), which is headed by Bahamian Mike Sands. Over 50 percent of its members represent nations that are predominantly black. The 31-member body released a statement over the weekend, stamping out racism and social injustice as ills in society that must be eradicated.

NACAC is arguably the most productive area association out of the six of World Athletics (WA), usually generating the bulk of the medals and top finishes at global outdoor meets, particularly the world outdoor championships and the Olympics.

Floyd’s death heightens an ongoing issue in the United States – one that has reached crisis level and has spurred numerous protests in major cities in the U.S. and around the world.

“Over the past few weeks, the spectre of systemic racism has been at the forefront of international news. Because of the resurgence of racism at the global level in the recent past, many local, regional and international sporting organizations and athletes have been forced to speak out because of their understanding of the mounting evidence of its invasion in the world of sport,” said Sands in a press release. “NACAC finds it absolutely necessary to add its voice to the chorus that continues to grow, declaring its total rejection of any form of racism in society, generally, but more so in the world of sport. The positive values attendant to sport have allowed it to be one of the fastest growing industries in the world today. The blight of racism and its consequences defy our very humanity and must be vehemently rejected in all its forms, wherever it threatens to rear its ugly head.”

The NACAC covers nations in North and Central America inclusive of English and Spanish-speaking countries, and all of the Caribbean. Sands made history when he became the first Bahamian to be elected to the top position of the prestigious body a year ago. He will serve until 2022.

“NACAC is insistent that there is no place for racism in our sport of athletics and will commit to the promotion of the lofty values that has allowed us to rise to and maintain our position at the very pinnacle of global sport,” said Sands. “As we continue to lead the world in the fight against drugs in sport, so too we strive to play a leading role in the eradication of racism in sport, fully cognizant that by doing so, we are participating in a greater war – that of eradicating the scourge of racism from global society,” he added.

The sports world, athletics included, has been on hold since the COVID-19 pandemic became widespread in March. Following that, systemic racism and social injustice came to the forefront following the death of Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in May – an incident that has sparked outrage throughout the U.S. and the world. Four police officers were fired and have been charged – Derek Chauvin with second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter; and three others with aiding and abetting second-degree unintentional murder as well as aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.