AMIDST MULTIPLE reports across world media yesterday which indicated that the United States’ men’s 4x100m relay team was stripped of their London 2012 Olympic silver medals as a consequence of Tyson Gay’s drug ban in May 2014, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC), Brian Lewis, revealed that the local governing body has not yet received any official confirmation of these recent happenings from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Just after noon yesterday, several internationally accredited media corporations ran with similar stories depicting that the, “IOC wrote to the US Olympic Committee on Wednesday, telling them to collect the medals from Trell Kimmons, Justin Gatlin, Ryan Bailey, Jeffery Demps and Darvis Patton”. The aforementioned are the remaining members of the US 4x100m team who have now been told to follow in the footsteps of Gay, and return their medals. Gay’s Olympic medal was returned to the IOC when his ban was announced in May 2014.
At the London Summer Games relay final, Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, Michael Frater, Nesta Carter and Yohan Blake (36.84 seconds) blasted to victory ahead of eventual runners-up USA’s Gatlin, Gay, Bailey and Kimmons (37.04) while TT quartet of Marc Burns, Keston Bledman, Emmanuel Callendar and Richard Thompson settled for bronze in 38.12.
If these rumours of the US being stripped of their medals are indeed true, the local team will automatically propel into second position and be awarded with Olympic silver, while France bumps up from fourth into third position. However, speaking to Lewis yesterday, he admitted to being aware of the circulating news but opted to veer away from public speculation and await the official correspondence from the IOC.
“We, the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee, have not received any correspondence or notification from the IOC,” the TTOC boss affirmed. “I sent an email earlier (yesterday) to the IOC, asking for some clarification on this particular matter. I’m hoping to receive a response by (this) morning because they (IOC) are a couple hours ahead of us.”
Lewis also noted that by following protocol, the IOC at this point in time would expect the TTOC to adapt in the absence of official communication, a reasonable and appropriate position.
“I would rather not comment or speculate further but what this continues to highlight is the importance of us taking the necessary steps as an Olympic movement, sporting world and TTOC, to protect the rights of clean athletes. We have to rigorous and relentless in protecting the rights of the clean athletes,” added Lewis.
Reiterating the importance and stern stance taken by the TTOC against doping in sport, the local Olympic fraternity joined forces with the Trinidad and Tobago Volleyball Federation and Ministry of Sport over the weekend to inaugurally serve as this nation’s official National Anti- Doping Organisation (NADO) for the Caribbean Zone Men’s Olympic Beach Volleyball qualifiers.
“We were insistent that we had to have in-competition testing because we must always be in compliance with the world anti-doping act and have to tangibly display that we are determined in the jurisdiction of Trinidad and Tobago to protect the rights of clean athletes. I look forward to receiving some official correspondence from the IOC. This is a matter that has been ongoing for quite some time since it was announced that Tyson Gay had those analytical findings. The TTOC is just as anxious as everyone else to have closure in this particular matter,” Lewis concluded.