FORMER 200m and 400m TT Olympian Alvin Daniel says TT athletes and their management staff must make a greater effort in following the guidelines under the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). Daniel said TT’s success on the international stage in recent years will make this country a target concerning whereabouts and drug testing.
Daniel was speaking on the heels of the announcement that women’s TT sprinter Michelle Lee Ahye was handed a two-year ban by the World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal for “whereabouts failures” with effect from April 19, 2019.
TT’s performance at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will take a huge blow as Ahye has been one of this country’s most consistent performers in recent years. She won gold in the women’s 100m at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.
Daniel, who competed at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, said, “Those athletes have managers, they are managed. We all know that within the sport there are certain guidelines that you need to follow. If you don’t follow those things you would be banned or disciplined in some way or the other. It is a sad thing because she has been doing well on the international market, but that is just the reality of it. As an athlete you have to follow the rules of the governing body.”
Asked how difficult it is to keep on top of what is legal or illegal in the sport of track and field, Daniel said, “The management (is) supposed to be handling that.”
Daniel said it is the responsibility of the National Association of Athletics Administrations (NAAA) to remind local athletes of the IAAF and the World Anti-Doping Agency rules and regulations.
“NAAAs will probably need to have some more lectures with their athletes so that these things don’t repeat itself. From the time you reach on top there you will be a target. A lot of athletes will be subject to these sort of things. We cannot get away from that.”
A number of other TT athletes have failed drug tests over the years including Kelly-Ann Baptiste and Semoy Hackett. However, Daniel said TT does not have a doping problem, but because we are competing among the best in the world we will be under the microscope.
“I do not think we have a doping problem, but we have to understand where we are coming from. We are a small country, we are a dot on the map and because we have been excelling like how we have been doing within the recent times we are going to be a target, but I don’t believe we have a doping problem, I don’t think so at all.”
Daniel reiterated, “I think that we need to sensitize our athletes to be much more careful with their whereabouts, what they drink, what they eat, who they take things from and those kinds of things.”