Collins kicked out of Games
By Sherrylyn A. Toppin | Sun, August 05, 2012 - 12:05 AM
LONDON – The letters DNS – Did Not Start – confirmed that St Kitts and Nevis’ most decorated athlete, Kim Collins, was indeed out of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Early yesterday morning on his twitter account, Collins sent out a tweet indication he wouldn’t be running in the 100 metres. He was scheduled to run in Heat 7.
“For those who saw me run in Mexico, that’s the last time I represent my country,” he said in another tweet, indicating that his career for St Kitts could now be over. “Even men in prison get their wives to visit.”
He was also scheduled to run the 200 metres and the 4x100-metre relay.
It was reported that the veteran sprinter, who would have been making his fifth Olympic appearance, had been withdrawn from the competition for staying in a separate hotel with his wife.
But another report from the Associated Press, quoting team spokesman Lester Hanley, said Collins broke team discipline rules by leaving the Athletes Village and had not been seen for several days.
“Kim has not been in camp the last couple of days,” Hanley was quoted as saying.
The National Olympic Committee’s general secretary, Alphonso Bridgewater, also said Collins had not been in contact with team officials since earlier in the week.
“The NOC of St Kitts and Nevis has not seen or heard from Kim Collins for the last three days,” Bridgewater was quoted as saying. “We are unaware of his whereabouts.”
But Collins also commented about there being nine officials and six athletes, suggesting there was some friction within the camp.
Last week, sprinter Tameka Williams was sent home from the team after admitting to using a performance-enhancing substance.
The 36-year-old Collins, who carried the St Kitts flag at the opening ceremony, had broken the news via twitter.
“My fans. I won’t lie. Won’t be running later tonight,” Collins tweeted. “This can’t be right. Olympics Number 5 and no Kim Collins.”
Hanley also said he too was unsure about Collins’ participation in this week’s 200 metres.
“That I can’t answer at this point whether they will give it further consideration,” the official said.
The decision to ban Collins drew swift reaction from former Trinidad and Tobago sprint star Ato Boldon, now a television analyst.
“These federations need to get over themselves. Kim Collins is a World champion and a pioneer. Leave him alone and find the next Kim!” tweeted the outspoken Boldon, who is a four-time Olympic medallist.
Canadian sprint hurdler Perdita Felicien, the 2003 World champion but who missed out on qualification for the London Games, also blasted the decision via twitter.
“St Kitts doesn’t allow Kim Collins to start in the men’s 100m?! Your flag-bearer?! A trail blazer & your [national] icon . . . ludicrous!”
Collins is the most recognized sports person to ever emerge from St Kitts, winning the 100 metres at the 2003 World Championships in Paris and taking bronze in Daegu last year.
He has never won an Olympic medal, however.
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