DOC President Felix Wilson playing defence after IOC letter questions conduct, transparency & governance
DOC President Felix Wilson is playing defence, after and IOC letter raises questions about conduct, transparency & governance. Wilson has denied any wrongdoing, saying “We did absolutely nothing wrong”, and refutes claims made in the IOC letter, which was written by Director General of the IOC, Christophe De Kepper, and was addressed to Wilson.
The issues contained in the letter were brought to the attention of the IOC, by the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee, to the effect that “the National Olympic Committee of Dominica (DOM) did not respect the terms and conditions of the Ticket Sales Agreement, and was in breach of IOC Codes of Conduct.”
The letter states that such a breach is unacceptable, and constitutes a serious warning, which will be taken into consideration in the future. It went on to say that the matter has highlighted a lack of transparency within the DOM. “In such context, the IOC urges the DOM to improve its model of management and governance, in order to be compliant with the principles of the Olympic Charter”.
The letter surfaced in the public domain on Tuesday, and has aroused great interest and discussion in Dominica. Many took to social media and the airwaves, saying there is corruption in the DOC.
In response, Wilson said the letter from the IOC made it sound as if tickets were sold to the Rio Games on the behalf of the DOC, but he said that is not the case. He said “Absolutely no tickets were sold by the DOC for the Rio 2016 Games. No one sold tickets on the behalf of the DOC.”
He explained that before an Olympic event, the DOC, like all Olympic Committees around the world, sign an agreement for ticket sales which could go two ways.
He remarked that the DOC told the Organizing Committee that it will not be selling tickets to the Rio Games.
“We got a response that it is okay from the Organizing Committee that you are no longer obligated to sell tickets or you will no longer be selling tickets, which is what transpired,” he stated. Wilson said he received a letter from the IOC while he was in Rio accusing the DOC of not adhering to the ticketing agreement.
“Using my cell phone, I responded to them that this is not the case, that is, we were removed from the agreement, we were not allowed to take on the sale of tickets by the Organizing Committee, and I even quoted the person who is responsible for the National Olympic Committees of the region, that is a Mr. Nicholas Robinson,” he stated. “He was the coordinator, I quoted him and copied my response to him via email on my phone.”
He added, “I also informed the IOC, and all who the letter was written to, that this was not an official response, I would have to get to the executive of the DOC, we will discuss their letter and respond officially on the letter head of the Olympic Committee.” To drive home his point, Wilson said the DOC had already received US$3,500 in royalties from World Sports Hospitality, which was initially contacted to represent the DOC, but the money was sent back.
“The royalties that they were offering the company who was selling on our behalf was US$10,000, we had received to date US$3,500 and we sent the monies back to it . We did not sell one ticket, so where is the corruption?” Wilson stated. He is also convinced that the letter from the IOC was leaked to the public from within the ranks of the DOC, adding that he is aware of the culprit, “but I will hold my peace.”
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