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Jun 29, 2001

Santino quits cycling, supports basketball

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He heads one of the nation’s largest family business empires, runs a popular musical group and has also dabbled in electoral politics…but for most Belizeans the name Santino is associated with sports. In a conversation with the busy executive, News 5′s Jose Sanchez found out that the sportsman has shifted gears.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

Santino Castillo, one of cycling’s principal backers and most successful team sponsors, says he’s had enough.

Santino Castillo, Owner, Santino Jamis

“Well the truth is I’m pulling out of cycling because I’m just fed up with the unprofessionalism of the Belize Cycling Association. I think they’ve been totally unfriendly towards me, they keep getting bullied by one specific competitor and they pull out rules and regulations out of the hat, like a rabbit trick. For someone who has given so much to cycling and tried to be so understanding…Take the situation with Steve Meujack, we couldn’t have advised them as they wanted two weeks before because we didn’t know if we were going to have a race. Furthermore, that race has always been an open race, president has taken place. I’ve always brought Americans to ride the Placencia Mountain Bike Race and it’s never been a problem. All of a sudden now it becomes a problem.”

After Stans Bowman resigned from the Cycling Association presidency, controversy was not so soon expected again. However, newly elected Cycle Association president, Kevin Hall says that last week’s decision to prevent Steve Meujack from riding was strictly by the books.

Kevin Hall, President, Belize Cycling Assoc.

“The Cycling Association doesn’t have any problem at all with foreign riders. As a matter of fact we welcome foreign competition to participate in Belize. What we have a problem with is with people who don’t want to follow policies. As a matter of fact, one of the riders was allowed to ride by the virtue of the fact that he was a defending champion. However, if he was not the defending champion, he would not have been allowed to ride because of the mere fact that the didn’t follow the policies that are in place.”

Jose Sanchez

“And that means documentation?”

Kevin Hall

Yes, documentation, the two weeks period, all of those things. In light of the fact that the manager of the said team knew about this race from at least a month before.

Cycling will go on. It was here before him and before me, it will be here after I am gone and after he’s gone. So that’s his decision and we will survive.”

Because the relationship is severed, the ten thousand dollars that would normally fund the Santino Cycling Classic will be invested in a different sport.

Santino Castillo

“I am putting it in basketball. I am joining forces with my old adversary Evan X Hyde, the team will now be called San Cas U.B. We brought excitement to the civic in the days of Raiders and Hotpoint, and now it’s going to be excitement on the same side of the fence. So look out for the San Cas U.B. team and let me tell you the players that are going to be coming for this Sunday’s game. We are bringing Darwin Carter, Damon Ollie, Eric Maye, Tyree Williams and Clinton Fuller. The beautiful thing about this is Evan X will do all the work and I am going in the stands and enjoy a nice Guinness, a give Barry a little free ad, and relax, so that’s what I’m going to do. “

Reporting for News 5, Jose Sanchez.

The newly minted San Cas U.B. team will be put to the test Sunday morning at City centre by the Data Pro Phoenix Raiders.

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