Sports

SLAA Responds to Julien Alfred’s Athletic Gear Issue

By Reginald Andrew

The St Lucia Athletics Association [SLAA] has issued a public response to reports alleging that the SLAA did not make adequate provisions to equip sprinter Julien Alfred with athletic gear during her participation at the ongoing World Championships, in Eugene, Oregon.

St Lucian sprinter – Julien Alfred

A heated controversial subject made rounds on social media with various persons denouncing the SLAA for alleged incompetence, while others ventured to also deride the government and sports officials for a reported shortcoming.

Julien placed second in the preliminary heats to qualify for the Women’s 100m semifinals but was unfortunately disqualified (DQ) in the semifinal heat for beating the gun.

Nonetheless, Julien was commended for her tenacity and accomplishment at such a young age in her effort to represent her country and pursue her goal to become a professional athlete.

SLAA secretary Lisa Joseph, in a media release, however, sought to clarify the issue, while stating the matter was blown out of context, noting that false information was circulated.

Joseph also said that amid all the uproar over the past few days, “Julien’s accomplishments have been overshadowed by allegations that the Association failed to supply her with competition apparel and that the President was conspicuously taciturn on the matter.”

According to her, the SLAA “has never and will never send any athlete to represent our beautiful island without bearing the colours of our national flag which we cherish so much.”

Joseph explained that before the latest meet, Alfred was provided with a competition kit from a local supplier to participate in the Caribbean Games in Guadeloupe two weeks before her competition in the World Championship. She said, at the time the gear was amended to suit Julien.

“Following the Caribbean Games, another kit was procured for her, this time for the World Championship. When she was presented with the other kit she intimated that she was not comfortable with it. To solve this untimely situation, she was taken to a supplier which she said she was comfortable with,” stated Joseph.

She added, “Moving forward, persons must not jump to hasty conclusions. Firstly, they should find out and clear the facts from the relevant governing body of the sport before posting or presenting news articles.”

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