Accuses SKNOC of discrimination
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - THE decision made by the St. Kitts-Nevis Olympic Committee for a swimmer not to participate at the delayed 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, has been upheld by an ad hoc committee from the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) at the Games.
CAS is seen as the Supreme Court for sports, where any athlete, committee or association can challenge a decision handed down.
Jennifer Harding-Marlin, a Canadian, who holds dual citizenship for her homeland and St. Kitts-Nevis, was hoping to compete at the Games under the Federation’s flag.
However, the SKNOC put a dent in her hope when it did not give the okay for her selection to this year’s team, where only three athletes will fly the flag.
Marlin used a last-ditch effort yesterday (July 18) to get to the Games, lobbying the Ad Hoc Division to overturn the ruling. But, in a media statement, the SKNOC said; “The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) Ad Hoc Division upheld the decision of the St. Kitts and Nevis Olympic Committee (SKNOC) not to enter swimmer Jennifer Harding-Marlin for competition at the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo, Japan.”.
The Canadian filed an application with the CAS Ad Hoc Division against the SKNOC, also naming the International Swimming Federation (FINA) as a second respondent.
According to the SKNOC, in her application, the swimmer alleged that the SKNOC had discriminated against her “on the basis of race, and on the type of sport and had been arbitrary, unequal, unfair and unreasonable in the selection of its Olympic Team”.
In a statement, President of the SKNOC, Alphonso Bridgewater, said: “These allegations do not describe the nature and/or the character of the St. Kitts and Nevis Olympic Committee. They are inconsistent with the very Olympic Charter by which we are guided.”
Allegations of that nature are serious for any olympic ommittee to rebound from if found guilty, and Bridgewater noted that the St. Kitts and Nevis Swimming Federation is not a member of the SKNOC; therefore, “No swimming entries were considered”.
Currently, the Federation’s athletes will only be represented at the Games on the track through Amya Clarke and Jason Rogers.