By Neto Baptiste
Vice President of the Antigua and Barbuda National Olympic Committee (ABNOC), Neil Cochrane, has not changed his stance regarding what he considers a conflict of interest with government minister, EP Chet Greene holding the post of president within the Olympic body.
Cochrane, who was adamant leading into the body’s electoral congress back in 2018 that the situation created the potential for conflict of interest, said he, however, has no option but to accept the will of the membership who overwhelmingly returned Greene for a second straight term.
“I still believe it presents a conflict of interest but that is my opinion. At the end of the day when you sit around a table and you present something for consideration, it is for you to convince the majority and once that majority agrees then everyone has to go with it. But yes, I believe that there is still a conflict in terms of where the issue of president is concerned. However, it is not really what I think, it is what the national federations think, and the IOC, before the last AGM, would have sent a missive that indicated there was no concern on their part,” he said.
Greene won the 2018 vote 22-14 over lone challenger Dr Philmore Benjamin with Cochrane, who ran on an opposing slate, elected 21-14 ahead of Cordell Williams Sr.
Cochrane had been touted as Greene’s challenger heading into the elections but opted instead, to contest the VP position.
Now a potential candidate for the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party in the country’s next general elections, Cochrane said the experience of having to work with Greene on the executive has been somewhat satisfying.
“I think there is still work to be done for me to be fully satisfied but I think that we have made significant progress thus far in terms of the management. Sometimes you need new blood, new energy to challenge the status quo and one of the things that I have been there championing is to ensure that all of the federations get as much assistance as possible. It is something we had promised to do and to provide more information on Olympic Solidarity in terms of how it works and how the funding is done and that is something that I continue to push for,” he said.
NOC elections are constitutionally due this year and although there has been no public declarations, it is highly anticipated that Greene will seek a third term in office.