The Turks and Caicos Islands Sports Commission is weighing in on the Lenin Hamilton Swimming Allegiance controversary, after the Turks and Caicos Swimming Federation blocked his participation in the CARIFTA Swimming Championships held in Barbados from April 15 to 20.
The block came as a result of Hamilton, who won a medal for the TCI at the CCAN Swim Meet last year, switched allegiance to the Bahamas.
The Following is a statement from the TCI Sports Commission:
The Turks and Caicos Islands Sports Commission has been made aware of the matter regarding Lenin Hamilton Jr. from the Turks and Caicos Islands Swimming Federation.
The information provided to us explained that Lenin Hamilton Jr., who represented the TCI at CCCAN less than twelve months ago, had made an application to represent The Bahamas at the CARIFTA Swimming Championship hosted this past weekend in Barbados.
Communication was had between the Turks and Caicos Islands Swimming Federation and the Bahamas Aquatics Federation on the matter. With no resolve between each country’s federations, the Barbados Aquatics Sports Association was notified, which subsequently made a ruling that the FINA rule GR 2.5 and 2.6 was violated and withdrew Lenin Hamilton Jr. from the competition.
There has been much speculation surrounding this incident, some of which the TCI Sports Commission is in the process of verifying. We are awaiting a comprehensive report from the Turks and Caicos Islands Swimming Federation on the matter.
The series of events that led to Lenin Jr.’s inability to swim in the CARIFTA Swimming Championships is unfortunate. While National Team selection and coordination is the remit of the National Federations and not the Turks and Caicos Islands Government (TCIG), the TCIG champions a fair playing field for all participants in sports and values strong positive working relationships with neighbouring countries, such as the Bahamas.