Butler was unaware of CAC qualification, federation admits communication breakdown

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National cyclist, Tamiko Butler, said she was forced to decline a spot on this year’s team to the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in Colombia, after receiving confirmation mere weeks before the start of the July 19 to August 3 event that she had made the qualifying standard.
Butler made the disclosure while speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, adding she only learned of her eligibility after seeing an email from the local National Olympic Committee (NOC) to the Antigua and Barbuda Cycling Federation (ABCF).
“I had asked the question about CAC and the only way I actually found out was that the Olympic Association decided to copy me on an email to the cycling federation in Antigua asking about my status and whether or not I was going to accept my position,” she said.
“This was all of, if not, three weeks before CAC Games so of course in that time I have maintained some fitness but I am actually now in the phases and getting back a programme from my coach and rebuilding my fitness so I wasn’t in a position to represent at an international competition or at games,” the cyclist added.
Regarded one of the region’s top female cyclists, Butler said that having knowledge of her qualification at an earlier date would have allotted her ample time to prepare for the important games.
 “Definitely, I would have made every effort to get ready for the games and like I said, Commonwealth Games is a slightly different level and the time limit was shorter, but had I known I had qualified, because a spot at CAC means a lot to an athlete from the standpoint that if you win a race at CAC, whether on the track or on the road, you land an automatic qualification spot to the Olympic Games and those are so hard to come by,” she said.
President of the cycling association, Mervyn Gore, said there were errors on both sides that led to the unfortunate development but added the federation will put measures in place in an effort to avoid future recurrences.
“I guess there was a breakdown from the federation to the athlete and also there was a breakdown from the body who should have notified us in regards to her eligibility and I guess that’s where everything fell apart,” he said.
“It is also on the athlete’s part because you do not like or train in Antigua so it’s also on their part to provide the federation with feedback. We were not sure as to exactly what Tamiko’s programme is because she resides in Trinidad and she rides track and she rides road and as to which discipline she was more focused on, we cannot really say,” the president added.
Antigua and Barbuda is not being represented in cycling at the ongoing CAC Games.

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