'They don't care about athletes' - Bailey blasts NOC, sports ministry for perceived lack of support

By Sports Desk December 01, 2020

Antigua and Barbuda track and field star Daniel Bailey has launched a broadside on the county’s National Olympic Committee (NOC), who he accuses of being a 'sham' and not caring about the nation’s athletes.

The 34-year, who has represented the county at the Olympic Games on several occasions, retired from international competition in 2018, pointing to the exorbitant cost of competing as a major factor in his decision. 

Earlier this year, Bailey announced that he had decided to return to the sport in order to compete at next year’s Olympic Games.  It seems, however, that some things have yet to change.

“They turned down my stuff and I left it alone, but I knew that was going to happen and I just think that the NOC is a sham because they don’t care about the athletes,” Bailey said recently on the Good Morning Jojo sports show.

“It is the first time I have sent the NOC an email about funding and the murmuring stated as to why Bakka want this and why Bakka wants that but at the end of the day, the money does not belong to any one of them and without the athletes, they can’t get any funding,” he added.

Earlier this year, EP Chet Greene, politician, and president of the NOC pledged to support the athlete after learning of his bid to qualify for the Olympics.

Bailey’s scorn was not, however, limited to the NOC as he reflected on a long career of footing his own expense.

“For the majority, I had to do it myself along with two or three corporate sponsors.  The NOC is not coming on board, the athletics association is not coming on board and the Ministry of Sports is not coming on board.  At the age of 18 years, I left for Jamaica on an IOC scholarship, and ever since then I have never gotten any help from the NOC, the government nor the Ministry of Sports.  I have been to four Olympic Games, spent 100s of thousands of dollars on myself, and represented this country without a dollar from anybody.”

Bailey, who has a personal best of 9.91, has made it to the semi-finals of two Olympic Games and was fourth at the 2009 World Championships.

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