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Feb 7, 2018

Cycling Federation Threatens Lawsuit as Rival Attacks Tariq Cano’s Standing

Earlier we heard Tariq Cano questioning the delay in elections at the Cycling Federation. President Dion Leslie did not wait long to respond. News Five received a communication from attorney Bryan Neal this afternoon, addressed to Hector Guerra as Cano’s attorney. Neal says his clients have told him that Cano is not even a member of the Cycling Federation, despite being an active cyclist for more than fifteen years. He also characterizes today’s press conference as an attempt to defame both Leslie and the Federation. This evening, however, Vice-President Orson Butler spoke to News Five clarifying the comments made in the letter. He confirmed that while Cano is not registered as a member for 2018, a proposal made in 2017 allowed persons registered at that time to be eligible to run for the cycling executive. Butler also confirmed that the Federation is still awaiting a response from the Sports Council on validating the Constitution.


On the Phone: Orson Butler, Vice-President, Cycling Federation of Belize

“We had our resolution passed in 2017, the thirtieth of November. However the agreement was verbal in that meeting, that we use the membership of 2017. [Tariq Cano] was a member in 2017; he’s not a member [as of] 2018.”


Aaron Humes

“But he would still be eligible to run, then?”


On the Phone: Orson Butler

“Yes, he would be eligible to run; however he has some guys on his slate that are not registered members in 2017; that is where the complication comes in.”


Aaron Humes

“Even if they registered in 2018, they would not be eligible?”


On the Phone: Orson Butler

“They would not be eligible, because apart from the resolution that was done on the thirtieth of November, we also agreed verbally, all the members in the special general meeting, that we would use [the list of] members of 2017.  It’s not delaying; it’s the proper protocol. What happened is that we have an old constitution that has regional bodies; the regional bodies have their election and then you have the grand election for the president as the delegates vote. However these regional bodies have been non-active, so the Federation had a special general meeting on the thirtieth of November and had a new resolution to [amend] this constitution to quit the regional body and have one federation, one body that controls the duties of the Cycling Federation. This amended constitution was put forward to the National Sports Council. Pending review from the National Sports Council and acceptance, then the Federation can actually set a date for election. So we haven’t received that okay from the National Sports Council to say go ahead; that’s why we haven’t set a date for having an election.”


Butler also clarified that the four-year term was in effect from 2013, when Leslie succeeded Emil Moreno as president. Butler and Leslie are switching roles on a single slate, with Butler moving up to presidential candidate and Leslie to vice-presidential candidate. An additional information sheet was also forwarded addressing some of the key concerns of Cano and others. Concerning participation on the national team, the Federation refers to its official policy which establishes a pool of eligible cyclists from which specific teams are selected according to a detail points and rating system. Regarding women and junior cyclists, the Federation simply lists local and international multiple day events to which Belize participated between 2014 and 2017. As to the Caribbean Cycling Championships, the Federation says it did not have the funds to sponsor athletes to obtain visas for travel to other countries.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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