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The St. Lucia Cycling Association (SLCA) is adamant in demanding that the St. Lucia Olympic Committee (SLOC) reverses its decision not to include the sport of Cycling as part of Saint Lucia's Commonwealth Games team going to Glasgow Scotland, later this month. The SLCA considers this decision arbitrary, unfair, and consequently unacceptable, and is charging that the Executive of the SLOC has contaminated the selection process by involving itself in technical team selection.

According to SLCA President Cyril Mangal: “on 23rd August 2013, the SLOC informed the Cycling Association that the approved selection criteria for the Commonwealth Games would be the Central American and Caribbean Sports Organization (CACSO) Games standards. Our cyclists have qualified for the CACSO Games pursuant to the approved standards for participation at that event. Therefore, if the selection criteria for the Commonwealth Games are the CACSO Games standards, then by qualifying for the CACSO games our cyclists have also qualified for the Commonwealth Games.”

Mangal argues that “the SLOC approved the CACSO Games standards as the selection criteria to be used for the Commonwealth Games, yet the SLOC appears to have subsequently shifted the goal post without informing the Cycling Association of that shift.” He considers this unfair because “when selection criteria for events are approved by the SLOC and communicated to national federations, such criteria create certain expectations for national federations and the athletes they represent. For that reason, the selection criteria cannot become a moving target and any selection decisions taken by the SLOC must be anchored in the selection criteria that the SLOC itself has approved.”

The Cycling Association notes further that the rationale underpinning the SLOC's decision to exclude the participation of Saint Lucian cyclists at the Commonwealth Games is unclea,r as the SLOC's letter communicating its decision merely indicates that it was taken after a review of all the "relevant information" submitted by the SLCA. The SLOC must therefore explain how Cycling can be excluded when the information submitted by the Association clearly proves that its cyclists met the qualifying CACSO Games standards, as approved by the SLOC.

The Cycling Association has summed up the facts of its case for the SLOC to reconsider and reverse the selection exclusion decision as follows:

  1. That the selection criteria to be used for the Commonwealth Games are the CACSO Games standards, as per the SLOC's e-mail of 23 August 2013;
  2. That qualification for the CACSO Games, under the CACSO Games standards for Cycling, is achieved by participation at the Caribbean Cycling Championships;
  3. That on the basis of our participation at the Caribbean Cycling Championships and the results obtained at that event, the Pan American Cycling Confederation, by letter dated 5 December 2013, informed the SLCA that Saint Lucia qualified for two places at the CACSO Games;
  4. That the sport of Cycling must therefore qualify for participation at the Commonwealth Games since the CACSO Games standards constitute the approved selection criteria for the Commonwealth Games, as per the SLOC's e-mail of 23 August 2013.

In light of these overwhelming facts and in the interests of justice, fairness and commitment to the development of our Cyclists, who have worked so hard to qualify for the Commonwealth Games, we must insist that the SLOC reverses its illogical decision not to include the sport of Cycling as part of Saint Lucia's 2014 Commonwealth Games team.

Our Cyclists have worked extremely hard and they are in the best form ever, thanks to the efforts of Cuban Coach - Ramon Leal Diaz – who was specially secured for our sport by the current Minister. In those circumstances, the St. Lucia Cycling Association we will not stand idly by and allow anyone, no matter how powerful they think they are, to discriminate against our Cyclists. The stubbornness of the SLOC in being wrong and strong, has left us with no choice but to expose publicly the unfairness in its decision.
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