PRESIDENT of the TT Olympic Committee (TTOC) Brian Lewis says the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has received all the silver medals that the TTOC has collected from the 4x100m relay team. The TT men placed second at the 2008 Olympic Games but were upgraded to gold last year, after winners Jamaica were disqualified for a doping violation by sprinter Nesta Carter.
The IOC gave a deadline of January 7 (yesterday) for the TTOC to return the silver medals, which were awarded to Richard Thompson, Keston Bledman, Emmanuel Callendar and Marc Burns who set a national record at the event over a decade ago. Aaron Armstrong was the reserve runner.
"We had a deadline of the seventh (of January) and we're just finalising and dotting our Is and crossing our Ts in terms of the process, so what I can tell you is that I can confirm we have received medals and what we have received we have FedExed to the IOC in accord with their deadline," Lewis said in an interview yesterday.
Newsday asked Lewis specifically whether all the TT sprinters returned their medals, but Lewis replied, "The medals we have in our possession have been sent to the IOC in accord with the deadline."
Lewis said the TTOC was co-operating with the IOC based on the guidelines set out by the world governing body for the medal-return process.
He added, "This is a first time for all concerned in terms of the TTOC and the athletes, and there is a commitment to ensure that all goes smoothly."
Asked if an athlete may have caused a delay in the process, Lewis responded: "I am not aware that there is any delay with any one particular athlete. I am not aware of that. As far as I am concerned, all is going smoothly. The athletes concerned are all fully co-operative and the TTOC is working and is respectful of the athletes' rights and responsibilities to give full thought and discussion as to how they want to receive the reallocation of the medals. The TTOC is being guided and in accord with the IOC guidelines and policies as it relates to the reallocation process."