TTOC addresses recent media reports surrounding the lawsuit filed by Ms. Thema Williams against the Gymnastics Federation
PORT OF SPAIN, Saturday April 29th, 2017 - The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) acknowledges the continued public interest in the on-going court matter between Ms. Thema Williams and the Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federation (TTGF). This follows the decision of its Games Management Committee (GMC) to confirm Ms. Marisa Dick as the named Gymnastics representative to be included in the Team Trinidad and Tobago (TeamTTO) Delegation for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The TTOC maintains that the process of the GMC was respectfully followed including:
1) Confirmation of the eligibility of the athlete
2) Confirmation of the qualification process of the International Federation of Gymnastics (FIG)
As was stated previously, in its submission, FIG spoke to the legality of the selection of the named athlete, and noted that the name change of the TTGF representative from Thema Williams to Marisa Dick was made in accord with its regulations.
The decision of the GMC that the TTOC had no choice but to include Ms. Marisa Dick in the TeamTTO Rio 2016 delegation was made after two days of intense discussion, and the consideration of submissions by several entities including FIG, the TTGF, and legal advice.
In light of the ethical issues raised during the selection process, the TTOC made the decision to invoke its authority under Clause 13 of its constitution to determine whether the TTGF had infringed the TTOC Constitution, the Olympic Charter and the International Olympic Committee’s Code of Ethics in respect of their duty to be fair. The lawsuit subsequently filed by Ms. Williams tied the hands of the TTOC with regards to Clause 13, as the matter was now considered “sub judice” and thus prohibited from public discussion elsewhere.
At this time, the TTOC would like to underscore its commitment to improve sports governance in Trinidad and Tobago. The TTOC also affirms that the public has a vested interest in the selection of athletes to represent Trinidad and Tobago. As such it is committed to making the selection criteria for athletes seeking to represent TeamTTO in various sports available on the TTOC website, and on the websites of various sporting organisations.
President of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee, Mr. Brian Lewis recently stated, “It is my belief that the modern sport organisation, which is still a member-based, non-profit and even volunteer-based operation, has to strike that balance between non-profit and operating in the business-space, modern environment.” As such the TTOC acknowledges the potentially significant legal implications and consequences of all its decisions. (Continued on next page)
As an independent body, the TTOC must continue to resist pressures including those of a political, legal, religious and economic nature that would potentially distract from its larger responsibility to all athletes in Trinidad and Tobago. The TTOC takes its role to develop and protect the Olympic Movement and Sport throughout Trinidad and Tobago seriously, and therefore cannot offer any further comment on the on-going matter involving Ms. Thema Williams and the Trinidad and Tobago Gymnastics Federation (TTGF).
Contact: Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee at 868 625-1285
The Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) is an independent organization responsible for providing Trinidad and Tobago athletes with resources they need to achieve goals at the Olympics, Youth Olympics Games (YOG), Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC Games), Pan American Games (Pan Am Games), Commonwealth Games and Youth Commonwealth Games.