SKNOC clarifies misconceptions over Kim Collins’ departure from London 2012
London, UK Monday, 6 August 2012: The St. Kitts and Nevis Olympic Committee (SKNOC), in light of several misconceptions covered in the international press, following statements distributed by its athlete, Mr Kim Collins, hereby clarifies its position regarding Mr. Collins departure from the St. Kitts and Nevis Olympic team on Friday 3 August 2012.
As a first point, the SKNOC can confirm categorically that Mr. Collins was not denied the opportunity to be with his wife during the competition. Management was more than prepared to provide the necessary support services to Mr. Collins in this regard and he was allowed ample time off to meet with his wife at the airport, accompany her to her hotel and stay overnight. Permission for leave was granted on Wednesday 1st August at 08.00am with a mutual agreement that he report back for training with the rest of the team at 7:30 am on Thursday 2nd August, and Mr. Collins departed the Village the same day. Mr. Collins however, chose to abuse the privilege granted and officially stayed away from the Olympic Village for a further two days with minimal communication with his managers or coaches.
Records will show that Mr. Collins subsequently entered and left the Olympic Village on Thursday 2nd August, without alerting the team management. This seem to have been a pattern with Mr. Collins as on a previous occasion he slipped out of the Village unofficially, attempting to return during the early hours of the morning via a service entrance. Mr. Collins chose to publicise his 4 hour delay in getting back inside the Olympic Village via Twitter messages, whilst not making it clear to his twitter followers the time and the fact that he did not use the correct entrance for an athlete, therefore Olympic Village security personnel refused him access via that entrance. Mr. Collins chose not to alert Team Management of this incident as his early morning adventures would have been frowned upon. Management later learnt of this from his tweets and from enquiries from LOCOG and the media.
On a second point, the SKNOC can confirm that it did not withdraw or expel Mr. Collins from the 100m Heats on Saturday 4th August. Mr. Collins was asked repeatedly via email and telephone to report to the Village on Friday night by 10.00 pm. However, he refused to comply and did not report back to the Olympic Village until the morning of Saturday 4th August when he attempted to gain entry at 11.41am. Mr. Collins has since publicly stated that his purpose at that time was to collect passes that had been approved for his wife. He was due to run in the first heat of round one of the 100m scheduled for 12:30 pm and if he came to run, this was clearly insufficient time for a top athlete to prepare for an Olympic race.
Mr. Collin’s accreditation to enter the village was withdrawn by the management of the team on Friday 3rd August at 10:26 pm with instructions to the IOC to notify the teams Chef de Mission if he attempted to gain access to the village during the night after his no-show earlier; however he had every opportunity to make contact with team coaches and management and to be available to report to the team warm up and Call Rooms on time for his race on the Saturday.
Earlier that week, team officials, management, coaches and athletes met with St. Kitts and Nevis, Prime Minister Dr. the Rt. Hon. Denzil Douglas, yet Mr. Collins chose not to make the journey back to the Village to meet with his Prime Minister and other officials including His Excellency Kevin Isaac, St. Kitts and Nevis High Commissioner in London and First Secretary, Wanda Connor. A few days earlier, Mr. Collins and the SKN Olympic athletes were also absent at a special function held in their honour at the St. Kitts and Nevis High Commission.
Mr. Collins continued absence from the Olympic Village was in breach of his contract of participation with the SKNOC in London 2012, which among other rules asked all athletes to 1) attend all scheduled meetings 2) attend training sessions 3) be available for random drug tests which can be called by the IOC at any time 4) to be available for promotional or team events and 5) confirm their whereabouts to the IAAF. Mr. Collins broke this contract of participation and consequently his coaches were unable to properly manage Mr. Collins’ training or monitor his fitness for the 100m. Being unavailable for the random drug test was a particular concern.
Mr. Dennis Knight, Vice President speaking for the SKNOC, said, “while we all know of Kim Collins’ iconic status in the sports world and particularly the emotional anticipation felt by the whole country, Mr. Collins had blatantly violated rules laid down by the NOC and London 2012. He did not attend any scheduled meetings with team management in his capacity as team captain, showed poor leadership of the other team members and displayed no personal discipline or respect to his coaches who were there to support his training and fitness. I will not pretend that it was not also very hurtful to observe the disregard that Mr. Collins showed for his country, for SKNOC and Olympic organisers in refusing to make himself available for training, for registration and to meet his Prime Minister. Everyone from Government to the SKNOC, SKNAAA and International Olympic Committee has worked tirelessly in the run up to London 2012 to ensure the team’s representation at London 2012 while, internally, management had been extremely accommodating with Mr. Collins. Therefore, given the circumstances, we had no choice but to withdraw Mr. Collins’ accreditation to the Olympic Village.”
“Unfortunately, Mr. Collins erratic behaviour continued on Saturday when he used Social Media tools against his management.”