Collins 'blatantly violated' rules, says team official
LONDON, England (CMC) — Former world champion sprinter Kim Collins was withdrawn from the Olympics because he "blatantly violated" rules, the St Kitts and Nevis National Olympic Committee (SKNOC) has said.
SKNOC also claimed that the 36-year-old father of two refused to attend meetings and displayed no personal discipline, in a statement released in London yesterday.
Collins has also been accused of engaging in "erratic behaviour" and boycotting team functions, including one attended by the country's Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas.
"While we all know of Kim Collins' iconic status in the sports world and particularly the emotional anticipation felt by the whole country, Mr Collins had blatantly violated rules laid down by the NOC and London 2012," said Dennis Knight, vice-president of the SKNOC.
"He did not attend any scheduled meetings with team management in his capacity as team captain, showed poor leadership of the other team members and displayed no personal discipline or respect to his coaches who were there to support his training and fitness," the release went on.
SKNOC says it was forced to issue the statement in light of what it says were several misconceptions reported in the international press about Collins departure last Friday.
A number of international media houses have been reporting that Collins' was withdrawn from competition by his team's officials as punishment for staying overnight in a hotel with his wife.
However, the SKNOC says he was granted permission to meet his wife at the airport on August 1, with a mutual agreement that he would report to the Athletes Village the following morning.
However, according to the statement, the veteran athlete further ignored management's request for him to return to the village by 10:00 pm Friday and so his accreditation was withdrawn half-an-hour later.
"Mr Collins was asked repeatedly via email and telephone to report to the Village on Friday night by 10.00 pm. However, he refused to comply and did not report back to the Olympic Village until the morning of Saturday 4th August when he attempted to gain entry at 11.41am,"said the statement.
"He was due to run in the first heat of round one of the 100m scheduled for 12:30 pm and if he came to run, this was clearly insufficient time for a top athlete to prepare for an Olympic race."
The SKNOC has been criticised over the decision by a number of international athletes including Steve Backley, the former British javelin thrower and Ato Boldon, former world champion sprinter from Trinidad and Tobago.
"These federations need to get over themselves," Boldon said.
"Kim Collins is a world champion and a pioneer. Leave him alone and find the next Kim."
Collins was supposed to have made history last Saturday as the first person to compete in five Olympic Games for St Kitts and Nevis.
He was poised to line up next to British sprinter Dwain Chambers in a heat for the 100 metres.
"There was contact between me and the federation and I explained to them that I am not abandoning my wife. It's not going to happen. So it does not matter how many times they try to encourage me I am not going to do it," said Collins in an interview on WINN FM in St Kitts.
"That's my wife and coach and it's not like I am with some loose girl running around the place. I am with my wife. So I guess that was not approved".