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Oct 6, 2011

Belize Amateur Athletic Association suspends members

Ian Gray

There has been a major shakeup within the hierarchy of the Belize Amateur Athletics Association following the release of a letter scrutinizing the presidency of Ian Gray. Six members of the management committee, including First Vice President Deon Sutherland, cosigned the letter.  On September twenty-fourth, the searing document was issued by the management committee alleging financial misconduct and blatant disregard for the fundamental laws of the association under Gray’s governance.  That letter has resulted in the temporary removal of the signatories from the BAAA as well as any other activities that are related to the organization.  Today Gray told News Five that the action was necessary in order to ensure and continue the daily operations of the BAAA without further disruption from the management committee in light of various breaches of its constitution.

Ian Gray, President, Belize Amateur Athletics Association

“Before the letter there was a series of flagrant breaches of not only the Belize constitution but the NACAC which is the parent body for this regional constitution and the IAF constitution coupled with other breaches so that led to the suspension and each member, each of the six members who signed that letter are now suspended for six months after which they can be reinstated into the association.”

Isani Cayetano

“Why was this necessary to proceed with the suspension of the first vice president Mr. Deon Sutherland whose name was prominent on that letter as well as five others who are cosigners to it?”

Ian Gray

“In order to keep the sport up and running and in order for them not to further send the sport into disrepute or sports on a whole in the country into disrepute it is necessary to keep things balanced.  It is necessary for them to rethink their position and come back.  They are brilliant individuals, we do need them; however, we are governed by the IAF and we must adhere to the IAF’s mandates and not to others.”

Isani Cayetano

“A week ago you were willing to sit down with these individuals and negotiate a way forward, an amicable solution to what has been happening internally; several days later [and] now they are being suspended.  Where do you see this going?”

Ian Gray

“I am still willing to sit and dialogue with them.  I have not changed my position.  The issue is that they need to be able to adhere to protocols of our parent body, simple.  They have been given a constitution, I’ve pointed them to various websites where they can get further embellishments and they have refused to do so.”

Isani Cayetano

“Six members of the committee of management have now been suspended.  Who fills the void in their absence?”

Ian Gray

“Well we’re currently, we’re currently still, we have several people who have shown interest but it’s a temporary fill and we have to ensure that those people who will come onboard are on the same page.  We cannot switch one group and take in a group that comes with a similar temperament.”

Isani Cayetano

“And what happens with the special meeting that was to have been held by October fifteenth to determine your fate as the president of the Amateur Athletics Association?”

Ian Gray

“I’m not certain where it goes.  In terms of that meeting I‘m not certain.  They were calling it so I guess that they would find a way to resolve that.”

Isani Cayetano

“So does this then now render your presidency unchallengeable in light of the fact that these six people have been effectively suspended?”

Ian Gray

“It’s a temporary suspension.  It’s not an expulsion.  I mean they can come back, it’s not, it’s not, it’s just one way of saying to them listen get it together, come back to the table, let’s redesign, let’s hit the reset button and go again.”

Suspended from the Belize Amateur Athletics Association are First Vice President Deon Sutherland, Ellison Flowers, Jameel Smith, Harrison Pilgrim, Andrew Pilgrim and Phillip Murray.  No word has been given thus far on the special meeting that is scheduled for next week.

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