Andre Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter (Jamaica Gleaner)
Athletes from St Kitts and Nevis are threatening to boycott the upcoming IAAF World Championships in Athletics set for Moscow, Russia, after their national body asked them to pay to compete at the championships.
With twenty six days to go before the start of the biggest track and field event this year, athletes and administrators from the tiny eastern Caribbean island are currently at loggerheads after the governing body – the St Kitts and Nevis Amateur Athletics Association (SKNAAA)- demanded that athletes pay over 20 percent of their earnings and bonuses from the August 10 – 18 championships.
One coach, who asked not to be identified, told The Gleaner that the disputed contract was offered to the athletes on July 2, 2013 and that the athletes, who are prepared to sit out the World Championships, consider the proposal to be unfair.
“They felt this is a ridiculous demand, and unfair to the athletes who are trying to make a living from this sport all on their own,” said the coach.
Information reaching our newsroom also shows that the SKNAAA also tried to force a similar contract on the athletes in 2011, but that the proposed terms were also dismissed on that occasion.
“(In 2011 the athletes) voiced their displeasure in writing, and refused to sign until some form of dialogue was done but the association did not respond until after the deadline set was passed,” said our source.
President of the SKNAAA, Glen Jeffers, could not be reached for comment.