Olympic stars pull out of VIP visit days before sprinter is banished from squad
click to enlarge
Anita Herbert (centre) with members of SANAS who were left disappointed after Olympic stars pulled out of a VIP visit this week
ST. KITTS and Nevis Olympic stars pulled out of a VIP visit to the town, days before one of its sprinters was sent home for a potential drug violation.
Athletes from the St. Kitts and Nevis Olympic Committee (SKNOC) squad - including veteran sprinter Kim Collins - were due to visit Chalvey Community Centre, in The Green, on Monday.
However the St. Kitts and Nevis Association Slough, who organised the event, was left disappointed after the team pulled out on Thursday, last week, due to 'demands on the athletes' time'.
On Saturday, sprinter Tameka Williams, 22, was withdrawn from the SKNOC squad amid a potential drug violation.
In a statement Alphonso Bridgewater, SKNOC president, said: "In discussion with team management, Ms Williams volunteered information to the effect that she has been using a substance which the SKNOC considers to fall outside the internationally accepted medical code.
"All the necessary bodies have been duly notified. This matter will be concluded pending further investigations."
The Rt Honourable Dr Denzil Douglas, Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, and His Excellency Kevin Isaac, the country's High Commissioner, were also due to attend.
Anita Herbert, SANAS chair, received an email from the country's High Commission to cancel the event. It said the Olympic team was no longer available due to the demands on the athlete's time and schedules.
Mrs Herbert, SANAS chair, said: "This is of great disappointment to all parties involved, particularly SANAS' Executive Committee, who has worked tirelessly to coordinate the event, but mostly to our local community as we know how much everyone was looking forward to the visit of the Olympic athletes.
"These are exceptional circumstances, beyond our control and SANAS and the SKNOC send sincere apologies."
The event was organised to show off the work SANAS does in the community and to celebrate the achievements of the St. Kitts and Nevis athletes - who are due to compete from today to Monday.
This article appeared in Slough Observer 09 Aug 12