Mar 13, 2013 Sports
– awaits intervention, anticipates reinstatement
By Edison Jefford
Former national senior and junior forward, Dwayne ‘Brown Sugar’ Roberts has appealed a six year Linden Amateur Basketball Association (LABA) ban at the national federation level with the hope of reversing what he believes to be an injustice.
A Retrieve Raiders forward, Roberts, was initially banned for six months and fined $15,000 for reportedly throwing a basketball that “injured” referee, Lloyd Ross during Retrieve Raiders and Kings game late last year in the
BOSAI Minerals Open Challenge.
His ban also included a non-participation in basketball related activities clause that was extended along with the ban to six years in January when he was accused of publicly accosting the LABA Secretary, Joseph Chapman at the Mackenzie Sports Club Basketball Court.
However, Roberts is contending that the events that led to his ban did not occur as reported and wrote an appeal letter to the Guyana Amateur Basketball Federation (GABF) asking the leading body for basketball in Guyana to investigate the matter. This he hopes will facilitate an amicable result.
He had written to the federation late in January, but over a month has elapsed since he has heard from the federation on whether or not it will intervene in the matter. He said that his desire is to be fully reinstated to playing status as early as possible.
“It (his reinstatement) might not be for Linden but I still want to play ball,” Roberts told Kaieteur Sport yesterday. He said that when contacted the federation indicated that they are examining the matter before they proceed with any form of intervention.
The LABA is a subsidiary of the GABF. In his appeal letter to the federation, Roberts contends that his suspension was increased because he failed to attend a hearing to answer the allegations of threatening to crush the Linden sub-association.
“The basketball did hit referee Lloyd Ross during this game, but it was purely accidental. I had no motives to throw the basketball at any referee at anytime because as the score sheet, and the records of the game would show, I was dominating the game with 18 points and two personal fouls,” Roberts said in his appeal letter.
“Mr. Ross was not injured based on the evidence of his actions after the basketball hit him. Mr. Ross completed the game after the incident plus made a report to the McKenzie Police Station,” Roberts noted, adding that the case was dropped after the police found that there was not enough evidence to detain him and proceed with a criminal case.
It was following that incident that Roberts was slapped with a six-month suspension. He said that Ross did not even know who threw the ball, but other players from the opposing team told him it was Roberts and that he should not take the matter lightly.
“An injured man, as the LABA is stating, cannot complete a basketball game as a referee. I had no intentions of wilfully harming Ross, who was not harmed at all because this incident occurred with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter,” Roberts told this newspaper.
In light of those circumstances, he believes that the penalties handed down on him are harsh and are more personal than practical. Roberts’ appeal was filed according to Article 43 of the GABF Constitution that makes reservation for the handling of such matters.
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