No athlete tax - JAAA boss not keen on idea

September 17, 2018
Fedrick Dacres

To fulfil its mandate of growing Jamaica's athletics, president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) Warren Blake is always trying to find new ways to increase the association's earning.

But one of the options he has vowed not to explore is imposing a 10 per cent fee on the annual income of the athletes affiliated with the association.

There are a handful of athletics federations around the world that have imposed the 10 per cent fee, such as Cuba and Nigeria.

And while Blake believes it would be reasonable to impose some form of cess on the earnings of top athletes, who are beneficiaries of the island's athletics development programme, the JAAA believes such a move would not receive enough support.

"We see where it would benefit the overall development of track and field in the country because they (athletes) would just be giving back to the system that they benefited from," Blake told STAR Sports. "But then you have others who resisted so it is not something that we will ever impose."

He continued: "It was not a policy of the federation before the athletes started earning money on the European circuit."

With an average of around 20 athletes from the association competing on the circuit and who are affiliated with an equipment sponsorship earning between US$10,000 ($1.4 million) and US$50,000 ($6.8 million) per season, the association could secure decent funding to send more athletes to regional and international meets and implement programmes geared at pushing the development of the sport locally.

But some experts believe the instability of athletes' income would make it unfair for the association to impose a fee on them.

"It is hard to do that (take money from athletes' income) because athletes have expenses too, they have to pay their coaches, invest in treatment to be able to stay healthy plus other things," added an insider, who preferred not to be named.

Other Sports Stories