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President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Mr Lamine Diack, says he is happy that he intervened in the impasse between the Jamaica Amateur Athletics Association (JAAA) and the Maximum Speed and Velocity Track Club (MVP), which might have prevented several of Jamaica’s top athletes from performing at the current World Championships in Athletics, in Berlin, Germany.
Mr. Diack told JIS News that he was confident that he made the right decision as Jamaica is a very important force in athletics. “I think what we did was what was supposed to be done. I was very happy that I was listened to by the President (Howard Aris), and all the team,” he said.
The President said he was not surprised by Usain Bolt’s world record performance. In fact, he was expecting it. “I am not surprised. I came here expecting a world record and we got one,” he said.
Asked whether he thought Usain Bolt was among the greatest athletes of all time, Mr. Diack said: “I think he is one of the great ones. I can’t say he is the greatest but he is among the best of all time and we will see what comes in the future.”
The JAAA had moved to suspend several of the island’s top athletes from the team competing in Berlin, over their failure to attend a pre-games training camp. The incident, which affected athletes who are members of the Stephen Francis-led MVP camp, including yesterday’s (August 16) 100 metres bronze medallist, Asafa Powell, and Olympic 100 metres champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser, drew the attention of the international media, which expressed concern about the JAAA’s administration. On Mr. Diack’s intervention, the JAAA reversed the decision.
President of the JAAA, Howard Aris, indicated at a press conference in Berlin last Thursday (August 13), that there might still be sanctions against the athletes involved, after the games are concluded. He said he would await a report on the games and if there were questions to be answered by the athletes, he would ask the JAAA’s disciplinary panel to adjudicate in the matter.

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