Dear Editor,I write in response to an article in Guyana Times of January 8, 2020, captioned “Govt Commissioner’s walk-out breaks up GECOM meeting”.The first point I wish to make is that Commissioner Charles Corbin had previously left the meeting having indicated at the inception, his desire to do so at a particular time.My second point is I did not walk out from the meeting but prior to leaving, I explained to the Chairperson why I was doing so. Guyana Times would have been better placed to report on this matter if its reporter had sought an explanation from me about the reason/s that led to my departure from the session. For the benefit of readers, I use this opportunity to explain my actions.I spent the entire night of Monday, January 6, and the early hours of Tuesday, the 7th, sitting in a chair while I tried to control my blood pressure, which was fluctuating between high and low. Eventually, at about 05:30 am on Tuesday morning, I began to bleed through my nose and sought medical treatment at the GPHC. Thankfully, as a result of the care and attention of the medical staff at the Accident and Emergency Section of the GPHC led by Doctors Morris and Tait, I was declared, sometime after noon, well enough to be sent home. My heartfelt thanks to Doctors Morris and Tait and the other caregivers for seeing me through that difficult period.On arriving home and in spite of the entreaties of members of my family who advised me against attending GECOM’s meeting, which was scheduled for 1 pm that day, I felt that because GECOM’s timelines could be affected by my non-attendance, it was incumbent on me to attend, which I did. I take my responsibilities as a GECOM Commissioner seriously and will not, like some of my colleagues, who walked out of approximately 14 meetings in 2019, walk away from a GECOM meeting. I am on record at GECOM saying that only serious illness or death will keep me from attending a meeting when I am required to do so. Notwithstanding the seriousness of the episode I encountered, I still felt that it was absolutely necessary for me to attend the meeting.While I felt it was important to be at the meeting, I was not prepared to be part of what I considered to be the ridiculous behaviour of Commissioner Robeson Benn, who constantly throws tantrums, is disrespectful even to the Chairperson and indulges in regular bouts of threatening and intimidatory behaviour to the Secretariat staff attending meetings of the Commission. It is that atmosphere which prompted my departure from the meeting on Tuesday, January 7, 2020.With regards,Desmond TrotmanGECOM Commissioner
Mack Horton received a round of applause from fellow swimmers at the world championships after refusing to share the podium with China’s Sun Yang, American breaststroker Lily King said on Monday.Sun, who previously served a doping sanction in 2014 and was labelled a “drug cheat” by Horton before the Rio Olympics final, was given the green light to compete in Gwangju after being cleared by a FINA panel of breaching the governing body’s rules earlier this year.However, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is seeking to overturn the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, leaving Sun’s career hanging in the balance a year out from the Tokyo Olympics.After finishing runner-up to Sun in the 400 freestyle on Sunday, Olympic champion Horton took his silver medal and then stood behind the podium while his Chinese rival and bronze medallist Gabriele Detti shared the spotlight.While the move drew criticism from some quarters of the media, and outrage from Chinese swimming fans, King said the Australian had full support from his peers.”We were waiting around for the awards ceremony just to see what was going to happen,” said King.”It was awesome. When we walked into the dining hall he walked in after us and the whole dining hall erupted into applause.”It was pretty good to see the athletes united on his stance and supporting him as well.”King said swimmers were annoyed that doping continues to cast a shadow over their sport, and that if they were not going to receive the proper protection from the governing body they would have to look out for each other.advertisement”I don’t think anyone at FINA is going to stand up for the athletes so the athletes have to stand up for themselves,” she said. “I think it is definitely a start.”Australia’s Mitch Larkin was “super proud” of his team mate and said the whole squad backed him.”I think 99% of (other) athletes around the pool deck back him, so he’s not really standing alone,” he added.”What he did was certainly brave and gutsy and I have a lot of respect for him for doing that.”Larkin said it was difficult to be entirely confident that swimming was clean.”You’ve got to trust the authorities but with what’s going on in sport these days it’s hard to be 100% sure,” he said.American Matt Grevers said that while Horton could be punished by FINA the Australian was well aware of the potential consequences. He also said the protest was aimed more at sending a message to Sun than to damage him.”In this instance I don’t feel like it really hurt Sun Yang. It just let him know that it was a weird incident and until it gets uncovered we don’t really trust you,” he added.