WHETHER veteran cyclist, Emile Abraham is stripped of his National Road Criterium title or not, he firmly believes his golden performance on Republic Day, at Nelson Mandela Park, St Clair, still stands as an outright victory.
According to a local newspaper publication, on Sunday, a report was recently lodged at the TT Cycling Federation claiming Abraham was ineligible to compete, much less win this particular event, due to his participation at the US National Championships, in August. The complainant also cited an excerpt from the International Cycling Union (UCI) regulations which prevents cyclists from representing two countries and/or two divisions (novice, juveniles, elite, masters).
They also claim Abraham’s age, 45, made him unqualified to compete for the national title since this was an elite event.
Abraham, though a bit stirred from these recent developments, still maintained his composure and sought to clear the air.
“For what it’s worth, keeping my title or not, I was still able to be the best in TT at 45, and a clear winner! I’m not losing the championship because I cheated or anything like that.
“I’ve never requested a masters license from the federation (TTCF) and never have I ever entered a masters race in Trinidad race to this date.”
Upon publication of the Sunday article, the TTCF issued a response categorically denying “that any such decision has been made and further advise that the matter is currently being reviewed”.
Abraham was appalled, since he did not receive any official notification from the local cycling fraternity that his title may be taken away.
“No official decision was made and on the grounds in which it was, does not (fall) under protocol. Any athlete must be notified first of any such action before it can be made public. I was not notified because no final decision was made. So that statement is false and untrue as this point! Someone may have changed my license to masters without my request. I have never competed to this day in masters category in TT,” he added.
Abraham believes this matter should be settled by Thursday, once the TTCF comes to a swift final decision.
When contacted for a comment yesterday, racing secretary Rowena Williams, remained tight-lipped on the possible verdict.
“There is no comment to be made until we can resolve the situation,” said Williams.