Assign Frater now!
ON THE SPORTING EDGE
THE Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) has a massive job on its hands to start the 'cleaning up' of the image of Jamaica's track and field product in light of the ongoing battering it has been taking over the past few weeks in the international media.
The news that sprinting superstar Asafa Powell along with MVP teammate Sherone Simpson, a star in her own right, as well as three other Jamaicans all tested positive for banned substances at the National Senior Championships held in June, is a massive blow to the country's image as a sprinting powerhouse.
Added to the body blow of sprint queen Veronica Campbell Brown's positive test just over month ago, the JAAA will have their hands full, as they start the repair job that some say will almost be impossible to achieve.
While there is never ever a good time for this kind of news, it could not have come at a worst time, mere weeks from the biggest track and field spectacle in the world, the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, to be held August 10-18.
Under 'normal circumstances' the athletes and the JAAA would be able to allow the process to work itself out in some semblance of quiet, however, with the full team that will be named set to arrive in the Russian capital in about two weeks to start a pre-championships camp, the international media will be out in full effect, all seeking to get the scoop.
Thursday's walking out of the pre-Diamond League press conference in Monaco by Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and American Carmelita Jeter after reporters questioned about doping, is the first sign that things will get even more intense as it gets closer to the World Championships.
The JAAA must be proactive and put their best foot forward and instead of allowing the press, some of which we know have little or no intentions of painting us in a good light, to set the agenda. The JAAA must be the ones to set the agenda.
Michael Frater, the JAAA's vice-president is the person best suited, to lead this charge.
While it was unfortunate that injury kept him out of the team and we will miss his experience and speed on the second leg of the 4x100m team, we can still benefit from his talent in another way.
As the saying goes everything happens for a good reason, and while Frater sits out of competition until he is back to 100 per cent fitness and able to rejoin his team mates on the track, this is one area where he can continue to serve track and field.
The former team captain is not only articulate but is familiar with the world press, having faced them over the years in his career and has the back bone to stand up and defend, if needed, his teammates.
Come on, JAAA, do the right thing.