Don't kill tae kwon do - Barrows
Arthur Barrows, president of the International Taekwondo Federation-affiliated Jamaica Taekwondo Association (JTA), has hit out against what he has described as questionable circumstances under which local martial artist Nicholas Dusard was omitted from Jamaica's two-man team for an Olympic qualifying World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) tournament in Mexico.
Dusard said he was barred from fighting in the -80kg category at a recent Jamaica Taekwon-Do Federation (JTF) training camp for national selection.
He outclassed his rivals in the lighter -68kg category but was afterwards told by JTF president Conrad Jenkins that United States-based fighters from the other two divisions, Craig Brown (-80kg) and Jason Grant (+80kg), would be the island's representatives in Mexico.
The JTA fighter believes his request to fight heavier, -80kg, was denied to shield the overseas winner and keep him off the two-man team.
Barrows said the decision was not transparent.
"I am appealing to these people not to kill tae kwon do in Jamaica," said Barrows. "What they are doing is they don't have any national programme locally, just two Boston-based guys, who they are pushing.
"I am not saying these guys are not of Jamaican heritage, but why are they sidelining Dusard?"
Meanwhile, a despondent Dusard said it became clear to him during the February 22-26 training camp that he was swimming against the tide.
"I feel strongly that the competition was rigged so I had no chance of going," said Dusard, who reached the quarter-finals in Mexico, 2011, in his bid to qualify for the London 2012 Olympics.
"I realised the only way I could have gone was to beat one of them. Therefore, at what would have been a disadvantage, I chose to go up in weight to fight one of them but was flatly told 'no' by Jenkins.