Saint Lucia Athletic Association [SLAA] released a public response to reports alleging that the SLAA failed to make adequate arrangements to equip sprinter Julien Alfred with sports equipment while competing at the ongoing World Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
A heated controversial topic has been making the rounds on social media with various people denouncing the SLAA for alleged incompetence, while others have ventured to also mock the government and sports officials for a reported shortcoming.
Julien placed second in the preliminaries to qualify for the semi-finals of the women’s 100m, but was unfortunately disqualified (DQ) in the semi-finals for beating the pistol.
Nonetheless, Julien was praised for her tenacity and accomplishments at such a young age in her efforts to represent her country and pursue her goal of becoming a professional athlete.
SLAA Secretary Lisa Joseph in a press release, however, sought to clarify the matter, while saying the matter had been taken out of context, noting that false information had been circulated.
Joseph also said that amid all the turmoil of the past few days, “Julien’s accomplishments were overshadowed by allegations that the Association had failed to provide him with competition clothing and that the President was obviously taciturn about the question”.
According to her, the SLAA “has never and will never send an athlete to represent our beautiful island without wearing the colors of our national flag which we cherish so much”.
Joseph explained that before the last meeting, Alfred had received a competition kit from a local supplier to participate in the Caribbean Games in Guadeloupe two weeks before his competition at the World Championship. She said it, at the time the gear was modified to suit Julien.
“After the Caribbean Games, another kit was bought for her, this time for the world championship. When presented with the other kit, she implied that she was not comfortable with it. To resolve this untimely situation, she was taken to a supplier she said she was comfortable with,” Joseph said.
She added: “To move forward, people should not jump to hasty conclusions. First, they must find out and clarify facts from the relevant sports governing body before publishing or presenting news articles.