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Articles

TTOC/NBFTT General Secretaries in war of words - Apr 12, 2016


POSTED BY:
DON FARRELL
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Don's Articles

General secretary of the T&T Olympic Committee Annette Knott has apologised to the National Basketball Federation of T&T's (NBFTT) general secretary Claire Mitchell for failing to send the findings of a TTOC-appointed abitration committee, which stated suspended Super 10 Basketball Commissioner Keith Clement should be reinstated and proper disciplinary proceedings under the federation's constitution is followed.

Yesterday the two were locked in a war of words after Mitchell insisted her federation did not receive the findings and recommendations. It led to a newspaper report that stated Clement was reinstated. Yesterday Mitchell, who has been appointed acting basketball federation president following the resignation of Garvin Warrick early in January, described the report as misleading and took a swipe at Knott, saying her federation never initiated or participated in any mediation which is supposed to be among two parties.

She made it clear the NBFTT is the only entity of FIBA that can reinstate Clement, adding anyone else would be accused of outside interference by FIBA through the NBFTT. According to Mitchell 'The NBFTT made it clear to TTOC it did not require arbitration in writing on November 20, 2015.
It also shared in another letter to TTOC that the Board of the NBFTT passed a unanimous motion not to go to TTOC due to the appearance of bias when the TTOC did not refute improper comments made in public by Clement, to the effect that the TTOC had already made its decision to re-instate him, along with derogatory comments about federation officials.

Clement, an associate member of the federation, was slapped with a permanent ban by the NBFTT last year for breach of the code of ethics and confidentiality, when he revealed important information about NBFTT cheques that were supposed to have been in the banking system. The information was written in a letter to the Sport Company of T&T that questioned monies spent at the Central American and Caribbean Games (CAC) in Mexico in 2014.

Last week the three-member arbitration committee which comprised rugby president Leslie Figaro, judo secretary general Alana Corbie and David King, the paralympic committee president, deemed suspension unconstitutional, stating Mitchell had agreed and her federation already had it to their plan of action.

In an immediated response yesterday Knott said 'The Council, of which the NBFTT is a member, selected an independent panel of three persons to arbitrate on the issue. The Arbitral Committee subsequently submitted its findings and of particular interest in its report was the fact that it indicated that the NBFTT should invoke its own constitution and proceed to consider the dispute with Clement. Such findings in no way suggested that the TTOC ruled in favour of Clement. The findings of the Arbitral Committee did not require ratification from the TTOC.'

However she later apologised after it was discovered that the email of the findings and recommendations, was sent to the wrong address.
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