By Neto Baptiste
Financial support for national sprinter Daniel Bailey is dependent on the athlete’s willingness to “do certain things”.
This is according to the vice president of the National Olympic Committee (NOC), Neil Cochrane, who said the president of the organisation, EP Chet Greene, has been in contact with Bailey regarding statements the athlete would have made in reference to the quantum of support he received from the NOC in the past.
“The NOC and the president would have written to Mr Bailey in regards to the comments he would have made and the president sought to provide some clarity on some of the statements made. So that, right now, is an ongoing discussion between the president and Mr Bailey. I think the NOC has asked Mr Bailey to do certain things and once that is done then there is a form to be completed then we will proceed to review the request,” he said.
Late last year, Bailey, the country’s fastest man over 100 meters to date, accused the NOC of not caring about athletes, while calling the body a “sham” for not providing what he believes was adequate funding for national athletes.
Reports have since surfaced that the NOC has asked Bailey to make a public apology.
Cochrane said that although he is not privy to all of the discourse between Bailey and Greene, the aim is to have the matter settled to the benefit of all involved.
“I am not privy to really speak on these issues, but I think there were some statements made regarding the kind of support that Mr Bailey received from the NOC and the NOC just sought to provide Mr Bailey with some information which he may not have remembered in relation to the level of support he would have received, and that’s all I would say,” he said.
The NOC was also recently involved in a public spat with national shot-put athlete Jess St John, who accused the body of ignoring her pleas for funding.
However, the VP also confirmed that the NOC is currently mulling a request from national sprinter, Tahir Walsh.
“Athletes reaching out directly to the NOC is not the preferred route. The route should be that the federation which you represent or the sport you participate in should be the one reaching out on your behalf and then consideration is given because the federations are the one that guide us along the way,” Cochrane said.
“If the federation approves of you participating in an event, then they would certainly write to us and seek the support and the necessary funding that we can provide. If an athlete comes directly, then we would have to go back to the national federation to seek information as it relates to training and qualifying time and past performances and current preparation,” he added. Bailey has set his eyes on competing at the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.