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‘All is not well with cycling’- GOA President to UCI

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By Avenash Ramzan

President of the Guyana Olympic Association (GOA), K.A. Juman Yassin, has made it emphatically clear to the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) that “all is not well” with cycling in Guyana, in a letter to the UCI President Brian Cookson this week.

The GOA was responding to a letter issued by the UCI and signed by Cookson, recognising Horace Burrowes as the president of the Guyana Cycling Federation after a nine-member Interim Management Committee, comprising disgruntled affiliates of the federation, was set up last December to run the affairs of the sport locally.

“The Guyana Cycling Federation, under the Presidency of Mr. Horace Burrowes, is the only recognised cycling federation in Guyana,” Cookson said in his letter, dated January 23, 2017.

In his response, dated January 24, 2017, Yassin acknowledged receipt of Cookson’s letter, stating that “I have taken note that the Guyana Cycling Federation is a full member of the Union Cycliste Internationale and that Mr. Horace Burrowes is recognised as the President.”

Yassin continued, “I wish, however, to bring to your attention that all is not well in Guyana with cycling and the Guyana Cycling Federation and most of its members. As you are aware, there are various clubs that constitute the Guyana Cycling Federation and it seemed that the majority of them had passed a motion to attempt to dissolve the executive and appoint an interim committee.”

Yassin urged the UCI to pay keen interest in the affairs of cycling, adding that “disunity” in the sport would put it “at a great disadvantage.”

“I would urge that you and your body pay a keen interest in what is happening in Guyana and in this regard to perhaps send a representative so that there may be some unity between the clubs and executive of the Guyana Cycling Federation,” Yassin suggested.

The Genesis

In November 2016, the Horace Burrowes-led Guyana Cycling Federation was replaced by an Interim Management Committee (IMC) following a motion that received unanimous support at an Extraordinary General Meeting at the GOA headquarters.

The IMC comprises one member from each of the nine clubs present, and will see all members having equal rights and all access to information and decision-making. The nine clubs are Carlton Wheelers Cycle Club, Roraima Bikers Club, Flying Stars, Flying Ace, Trojan, Team Evolution, Team Alanis, Linden Bauxite Flyers and Continental.

Two clubs- Team Coco’s and WS United- were absent. Coincidentally, it was four serving executives from the two absent clubs who were the subject of a petition signed by a host of cyclists, and calling for their resignations in 2016.

The executives in question were Burrowes, Secretary Maria Leung, Treasurer Rosanna Sukhoo and Vice-president in charge of Finance, Jerome Allicock. The other three members of the executive, which was elected in June 2015, were Hassan Mohamed, Paul Chooweenam and Andrew Arjoon. Arjoon had voluntarily resigned.

The cyclists has listed what they perceived to a number of discrepancies committed by the four executives, chief among them their disregard for the oath they took to serve the sport and move it to another level.

The 40-odd riders were also disgruntled by the GCF’s failure to host meetings, failure of the president and most executives to attend the National Championship and the non-publication of the WADA drug tests of November 2015.

They also highlighted that the president residing overseas is detrimental to the development of the sport as access to him is “at best difficult.” The cyclists also questioned the federation’s selection policy for the Pan American Elite Championship without consulting the Racing Committee, as well as the existence of no proper developmental plan.

How the IMC came about

According to a source close to the issue, all nine clubs present at the Extraordinary General Meeting had to be “financially correct” before the motion was tabled.

“A motion was then made for the current GCF executive to be dissolved. It was proposed by Andrew Arjoon of Team Evolution and seconded by Malcolm Soonaram of Carlton Wheelers,” the source told News Room Sport.

According to the GFC’s constitution, 5/6 of the votes must be met before the motion is granted; however, there was a unanimous vote.

“As of yesterday [Wednesday], the GCF executive has seized to exist and an IMC has been installed. Soonaram suggested that one rep from each club is on the IMC. In that way, we could have transparency in every way possible,” the source added.

News Room Sport understands that the IMC will not have a head, but rather all members will have equal rights. The IMC, the source indicated, would be in place until the sport is regularised. When that is achieved, a new executive will be installed to govern the sport.

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