On June 16, 2016 the Trinidad & Tobago Cycling Federation (herein referred to as “TTCF”) selected a Management Team comprising of David Francis (Team Manager), Elisha Greene (Mechanic) and Varun Maharajh (Soigneur). The Trinidad & Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) responded on the July 13, 2016 indicating that the maximum number of officials who can accompany the cyclist (Njisane Phillip) was two.
Based on this notification, the Racing Committee, which is the arm of the TTCF that has the sole responsibility of National Team selection, discussed the different compositions of the team andfunctions of the different roles: - The Mechanic’s function is of utmost importance since he/she is to ensure that the cyclist’s bicycle and/or equipment is operational and reliable at any given time.
- The Team Manager’s role is also of key importance since he/she ensures the efficient functionality of any team and is an established position on all International cycling teams.
- The Soigneur is also important since its function is to ensure that the cyclist’s personal requirements are met. This is inclusive of massage therapy, retrieval of grocery items, electrolytes, water etc.
The Racing Committee also noted that for the past two years and the ten (10) qualifying events for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, technical members representing the TTCF in the capacity of Team Manager and Mechanic were always selected for each of these events. This same Management Team composition was also utilized for the 2012 London Olympic Games.
With that being said and given the limited allocation for staff members, the Racing Committee being guided by the TTCF Selection Policy and the precedence set by previous International Events, selected a Team Manager and Mechanic as the final two officials for the TTO Cycling Team to the Rio Olympic Games.
However, based on recent media reports received, urgent meetings held with the Trinidad & Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) and concern for the cyclist’s welfare as an individual athlete, Mr. David Francis has voluntarily withdrawn himself from the position of Team Manager. Mr. Francis’ decision has been consequently relayed to the TTOC.
It is unfortunate that this situation has escalated into the media, however, we are happy that we have an amicable resolution in the interest of the cyclist and the sport cycling on the whole.
Robert Farrier | TTCF President