The Trinidad Guardian / There will be four persons representing this country in the sporting discipline of Table Tennis at next month’s Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Lawyers representing the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) and national players Dexter St Louis and his step daughter Rheann Chung yesterday came to an agreement which saw them joining the T&T Table Tennis Association (TTTTA)’s representatives, Aaron Wilson and Yuvraj Dookram, for the games.
The agreement came as St Louis and Chung’s lawsuit challenging the selection process used by the association came up for trial before Justice Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell in the Port-of-Spain High Court.
Under the consent order, all four will travel to Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, for the games, but no player is guaranteed a starting position as that decision will remain with the association’s technical team.
The compromise, brokered by the T&TOC, resolved the issue of whether there would be representation for the games as the lawsuit could not have been determined before the deadline for submission of participants, later this week.
St Louis and Chung’s lawsuit over the fairness of the association’s selection was postponed to April 24 as Donaldson-Honeywell said there was no urgent need for it to be determined before the games, which will be held between April 5 and 15.
In a brief telephone interview from his home in France yesterday, St Louis said he was upset despite scoring a technical legal victory.
St Louis said that the T&TOC should have intervened in the dispute since it arose in November, last year, as the lawsuit and subsequent hearings had cost him and Chung thousands of dollars in legal fees.
“This should have been stopped a long time ago. Even if I go and I get to go, it is still a bitter feeling for me,” said St Louis.
In a press statement issued yesterday evening, St Louis and Chung’s lawyer Matthew Gayle suggested that the T&TOC’s constitution be amended to allow athletes the right to arbitration hearings in disputes with their respective associations. Under present rules only associations can refer disputes to T&TOC’s arbitration panel.
“It is simply not good enough that players should have to fight lengthy and expensive legal battles before the T&TOC takes heed of these very real issues faced by the athletes,” Gayle said.
In the lawsuit, St Louis, 50, and 33-year-old Chung, the most decorated athletes to ever represent T&T in the sport, are questioning the process used by the association to select 19-year-old Wilson and 21-year-old Dookram for the games.
They are seeking damages for breach of contract, conspiracy and unlawful interference.
In defence of the lawsuit, the T&TTTA is claiming that the duo was informed via email of the selection criteria and chose not to participate.
It also alleged that they only decided to challenge the process after it was completed.
The T&TTTA is also claiming that it had closely followed the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC)’s guidelines and deadlines for selection, which focuses on youth participation.
In granting St Louis and Chung an injunction against the association in January, Donaldson-Honeywell refused an application seeking to compel the association to refer the dispute to TTOC’s arbitration tribunal.
Last Friday, Appellate Judges Allan Mendonca, Peter Jamadar and Prakash Moosai upheld Donaldson-Honeywell’s ruling as they found evidence that the process of selection was not fair or transparent.
St Louis and Chung are being represented by Mathew Gayle, Sheriza Khan and Dr Emir Crowne, while Dinesh Rambally, Kiel Tacklalsingh and Stefan Ramkissoon are representing the T&TTTA.
Elton Prescott, SC, represented the T&TOC for yesterday’s hearing.
4 t-tennis players for Games
Con Información de The Trinidad Guardian
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