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Dr Moses impressed with T&T sporting infrastructure

Published: 
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Double Olympic 400m hurdles champion Dr Edwin Moses delivers the feature address at the opening of T&T International Sports Conference, hosted by the Caribbean Sport and Development Agency, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Port -of-Spain, yesterday. Photo: Clayton Clarke

Four-time 400m hurdles world record breaker and multiple Olympic and World Championships gold medalist, Dr Edwin Moses, is of the view that this country has made a significant investment in the construction of world class arenas and should be prepared to host international sporting events.

Moses was given a view of the national cycling and swimming arenas, both under construction and complete, on Monday and says that T&T has an advantage over any other Caribbean nation in this regard.

“The hardware is here, the structures are here and I think that’s a good thing. No where else in the Caribbean do you have these kinds of installations and there are not many cities in the world that have a full size velodrome, a diving and swimming (arena) and places to play tennis,” Moses said yesterday during a feature presentation at the Hyatt Regency, Dock Road, Port-of-Spain, on the opening day of the two-day Caribbean Sport and Development Agency (SCDA) T&T International Sports Conference 2015.

Dr Moses, whose achievements on the track stretch one bronze and two gold Olympic medals, two World Championships gold medals and three IAAF World Cup gold medals - all between 1976 and 1988 - is also renowned off the track for his work in improving the standards and rights of amateur athletes as well as the reform of international and Olympic eligibility rules.

He cited the 1984 Olympics hosted in Los Angeles as the first games that was particularly profitable, especially since there were existing structures in place to host the events.

“(Since there are existing structures), Trinidad has a fantastic opportunity to host events and be a country that is known for sports… It doesn’t have to be a World Cup of a World Championships,” Dr Moses said.

The former International Olympic Committee (IOC) representative as a member of the Athletes’ Commission.

He led the development of anti-doping policies during his time as chairman of the US Olympic Committee’s (USOC) Substance Abuse, Research and Education Committee (CSARE). He is currently a member of the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), a post he says is not often received with respect by the public, although among the intentions by USADA is to create a level playing field for honest athletes.

He said many view the USADA as a “punitive organisation that collects urine and gets people in trouble.”

“We do more than that,” Moses said. “One of the things that we do that directly involves youth, is to give (athletes) the confidence that there is a level playing field without the use of (performance enhancing drugs).”

Using the example of former US professional road cyclist, Lance Armstrong, who was stripped of his titles in 2012, Moses said: “His (Armstrong’s) thesis was that everyone is doing it (so it’s okay for me to)”.

Moses engaged the well-attended audience, which included many representatives of national sporting organisations.

Following his feature address, Moses was engaged in a panel discussion, which was moderated by former T&T goalkeeper and current ESPN football analyst, Shaka Hislop and included, Dr Terry Stevens, a specialist in sporting tourism and managing director of Stevens & Associates, an award winning international tourism consultancy; Sir Hilary Beckles of Barbados, a popular lecturer and author attached to the University of the West Indies; and Louise Martin of the Commonwealth Advisory Body on Sport (CABOS) and immediate past chair of Commonwealth Games Scotland.

Each of the panelists spoke openly in full view of the audience before taking comments and questions.

Stevens, Beckles and Martin are all expected to give addresses today as the event resumes and concludes. Also carded to give addresses today are Dr Shaun McCarthy of the International Centre For Sport and Security, and Andrew Godkin of the Australian National Integrity in Sport Unit, who will speak on match fixing in sport.

Presentations will also be made by former T&T Olympic Committee president, Larry Romany; young entrepreneurs Narada Wilson and Carla Parris of The Brazil Link; Duane Lall of Novel Sports;  Mark Mungal and Andre Collins of CSDA and Delroy Alexander of Sacred Sport Foundation.

The event is being hosted by virtue of a partnership between the CSDA, the Ministry of Sport and the Ministry of Tourism with Shanghai Construction Group Caribbean Ltd as the major sponsor.