Athletics Association Bars Sprinter, Renews Meeting Call

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National sprinter, Miguel Francis, has been barred from representing Antigua & Barbuda until he meets with the sport’s governing body here, the Antigua & Barbuda Athletics Association (ABAA).
This was revealed by head of the organisation, Everton Cornelius, who said the athlete cannot be considered for national selection until the air is cleared over his 2016 request for a transfer of allegiance to Great Britain.
“He needs to understand that the dialog of him participating on the Antigua ticket starts with the athletics association. We are the governing body of track and field and that’s where it starts. He has to come back to the athletics association, have the discussions so that we can come to some sort of or bring a conclusion to that [the dialog] part of it and determine how we move forward,” he said.
“He must meet with us first before we can consider him for being part of our team…that’s our position…. right now and it’s about being hard and fast,” he added.
In an interview with Observer Media last week, Francis confirmed his willingness to represent the twin-island state once more, adding that “things just got into my head” when he decided to switch his allegiance last year.
Revealing that the athlete has not been considered for the country’s participation in the IAAF World Relays slated for the Bahamas in April of this year, Cornelius said some fences must be mended and guidelines set before Francis can wear national colours once more.
“Monies have been invested in Miguel in terms of preparing him for the Olympics, Pan Am Games and other meets. And I think he owed us the respect of at least coming back and at least meet with the minister or the government, when they had requested his presence to discuss the matter of him switching his allegiance,” he said.
Francis said he had conveyed his intentions of withdrawing his transfer of allegiance request to the country’s sports minister, EP Chet Greene. The athlete added that he is awaiting the IAAF publication list of 15 athletes whose requests they are currently processing.
If his name is among the list, Francis said he was unaware as to what the next step would be.
But according to Cornelius, Francis and his handlers do not understand how the process works.
“When I listen to his interview even that within itself indicates to me that he is not even too sure of exactly who is the governing body of track and field. Because he is saying that he spoke to the minister [EP Chet Greene] so I don’t know how he really thinks. I see some areas of confusion there…he does not know how the whole thing truly works,” he said.
The 2017 World Relays are scheduled for April 22 and 23 at the T. Robinson Stadium in The Bahamas.

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