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Brian Lewis has been unanimously elected as chairman of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) in Barranquilla in Colombia yesterday.

Lewis, the head of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC), was the only candidate for the position following the withdrawal of the Dominican Republic’s José Joaquín Puello, who claimed he had submitted an application for the role by mistake.

He will serve as CANOC chairman until next year as he will complete the term of Barbados’ Steve Stoute.

Lewis has been in interim charge of the organisation since he was elected to replace Stoute at CANOC’s Annual General Meeting in Guadeloupe in October. Yesterday’s election took place at an Extraordinary General Assembly (EGM), alongside the Central America and Caribbean Sports Organization General Assembly.

“I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to create a sustainable future for the Caribbean Olympic Movement,” Lewis told insidethegames.

“It is an honour to be entrusted with the role. As Olympic leaders, we in the Caribbean can make a positive difference.

“We are determined to better serve Caribbean Olympic athletes and the youth and young people of the region through sport and Olympism.

“For all the challenges we face, it is an exciting time of great opportunity. In unity is our strength. Our strength is our unity.”

Lewis was the sole candidate for the role following Puello’s withdrawal in bizarre circumstances. Dominican Republic Olympic Committee (COD) officials supposedly applied on the mistaken assumption that it was part of his separate application for the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) Presidency.

Puello’s own signature was on the official nomination form, which made clear it was an application for the position of CANOC chairman, but a letter to the Nominations Committee claimed they “mistook the CANOC nomination form as part of the procedures set for the PASO elections.”

“Steve Stoute did tremendous work and put down a great foundation. I again extend on behalf of CANOC our sincere and heartfelt gratitude.

“CANOC has built an excellent reputation under Mr Stoute and we intend to build on his work.

“I have a lot of confidence in the Olympic sport leaders within CANOC. We are maturing and evolving as an organisation.

“CANOC has tremendous potential and it’s our duty, responsibility and obligation to deliver on that.”

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