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UPCOMING OLYMPIC GAMES

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After seven weeks of uncertainty, Trinidad and Tobago’s 2012 Olympic Men’s 4x100m relay team received confirmation yesterday that they will be upgraded from bronze to silver, according to official information relayed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

In a short statement issued by Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) president, Brian Lewis, yesterday, he stated that authorised confirmation was relayed to him by the IOC affirming the reallocation of medals to the National 4x100m team.

The local quartet receiving this Olympic upgrade comprises of newly crowned National Men’s 100m champion Keston Bledman, national record holder Richard ‘Torpedo’ Thompson, Emmanuel Callender and Marc Burns.

“We have received official confirmation from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and they have clearly communicated with us that we have a deadline that they would like us to meet which is July 18 to return the bronze medals, diplomas and pins,” explained the TTOC boss.

On May 13, it was revealed that the United States team which initially won silver behind Jamaica, were to be retrospectively disqualified following the one year suspension of team member Tyson Gay after he tested positive for anabolic steroids in 2013.

Jamaica finished ahead of the US in a world record time of 36.84 seconds to take gold in the Olympic Stadium, while team TT earned bronze in 38.12s to finish ahead of fourth-placed France. France are expected to be upgraded to bronze medal position.

“I have already written a letter to communicate this (deadline) with the athletes in question, and we will work with the athletes to ensure that we can meet that deadline so that the reallocation process can progress in accord with the IOC’s timeline.

I’m comfortable and happy that the timeline has a particular date because it brings certainty to the process,” added the former Harvard rugby player. Upon meeting the deadline, Lewis assured that he will be in frequent contact with the IOC with regards to them sending out the silver medals to TT.

When they are received, the TTOC is expected to arrange an appropriate presentation of the silver medals from London 2012 to the talented relay squad. Even though pleased with the IOC and International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) due process, Lewis was a bit critical of the length of time it took to resolve this matter.

He however, remains committed to voicing his idea to officials for a speedier process in settling issues of this magnitude. “The process has taken a bit long,” Lewis stated.

“As I have always said, the IOC has their process but I have articulated a perspective that it is still a bit too protracted and unfair on the clean athletes.”

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