Aug 15, 2017 Sports
We note the response by Mr. Ivan Persaud (Chairman of the National Sports Commission; President of the Guyana Amateur Swimming Association) – Kaieteur News, August 11, 2017; “Nia Fraser eligible to represent Guyana at Goodwill games – GASA’s Ivan Persaud”. However, this raises more questions than it answers.
1. Mr. Persaud’s statement: “In response to the Sea Otters Swim Club objection to Fraser who resides in the United States of America, being included in the Guyana team for the 2016 Goodwill Swim Meet in St. Lucia and 2017 here, Persaud told Kaieteur Sport that Fraser participated in the trials and as such she was included in the team.”
a) Is Ms Nia Fraser correctly described as a naturalised citizen or not?
b) When did she become a citizen (naturalised or otherwise)?
c) Was she a citizen (naturalised or otherwise) when she was allowed to represent Guyana in 2016?
2. Mr Persaud: “She came last year and took part in the trials.”
a) We did not have time trials last year? Ms Fraser happened to be in Guyana when the 2016 Independence Meet was held. This meet was not designated as the Goodwill Time Trials. The 2016 Summons substantiates this position.
3. Mr. Persaud: “We did not have a full team since Dorado Speed Swim Club had pulled out and she asked if she could be placed on the team if she funded her own costs and we decided to place her on the team so we could have taken part in the relay event in that category,”
a) Dorado Speed Swim Club did not “pull out” of Goodwill 2016. In June 2016, the Dorado parents were presented with a budget of US$1,176 per swimmer to participate in Goodwill. They were further advised that parents may have to cover the cost of the officials – leading to an estimated cost of $1,500 per person. Parents indicated that they could not afford either sum. At no time thereafter were Dorado parents told that the sum was reduced due to funding from the National Sports Commission. Our only information on the funding from the NSC came via a newspaper article a day or two before the team left for St Lucia.
4. Mr. Persaud: “He explained that she is in possession of a Guyanese passport and the eligibility rule does not apply to development meets such as Goodwill, rather it only applies for elite competition such as Olympics and World Championships.”
a) The wording of the Goodwill Summons speaks for itself: ELEGIBILITY: *All Competitors must either be citizens or residents of the country they are seeking to represent.
* Naturalised citizens and residents must have resided in that country for at least 12 months prior to the competition. Proof of residency which may be in the form of a sanctioned letter from swim clubs or the athlete’s attending school must be submitted at the Technical Meeting.
5. “Persaud stated that since he took over the association in 2014, all the financial statements from 2014-2016 have been audited”
a) When were these audits completed?
b) Who was the auditor?
c) Why have they not been presented to the affiliates of GASA?
6. “Persaud stated that … monies from the Government which assisted in athletes travelling to St. Lucia were paid directly to Muneshwar Travel Service and since it did not come through GASA it would not reflect in the financial statements.”
a) Is the Chairman of the NSC/President of GASA really saying that full accounting for an event does not include all sources of income? How then does one ensure that several persons do not contribute to the same expense?
b) Can Mr. Persaud confirm whether the entire $4M+ was used for airfares or was cash returned to GASA? Further, if cash was returned, how does he justify not having this included in the statement provided the February 2017 AGM?
c) Is the same true of the funding provided by the Guyana Olympic Association and National Sports Commission for the Paraguay 2016 South American Swimming Championships?
d) Can GASA forward full event accounts for any local or international event over the past four (4) years?
We reiterate our appeal for the Ministry of Education/National Sports Commission to investigate the use of funding provided to GASA.
Dorado Speed Swim Club
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