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|Judo Conspiracy: Why Liberia Sent an ‘Illegal' Athlete to the London Olympics||| Print ||
|Written by Rodney D. Sieh, email@example.com|
|Sunday, 12 August 2012 17:17|
Monrovia - Liva Saryee never got the chance to lift a fist at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and no reason to date has been given as to why Saryee’s match against Morocco’s Safouane Attaf never materialized.
Saryee was billed as a Judo athlete. Judo is a modern martial art, combat and Olympic sport created in Japan in 1882 by Jigoro Kano. It is based on the ancient technique of Jujutsu.
Billed as the first judo competitive match in Olympic history for the post-war nation, the Saryee-Attaf showdown was cancelled without reasoning.
Speculations have been rife that Saryee was not qualified for the 81kg category his country, Liberia sent him to compete in and realized moments before his scheduled showdown with Attaf that he may not have been able to match up with his opponent, or even advance to the next round.
Mr. Philbert Browne, head of the Liberia National Olympic Committee acknowledged to FrontPageAfrica Sunday that Saryee had no knowledged of Judo and was in fact unfamiliar with the sport.
Said Browne: “He (Saryee) has not participated in any judo competition before but yet the Judo Federation recommended him to participate in the Olympics. “They did the selection and we sent his name in,” Browne told FPA Sunday.
The LNOC President said Saryee never showed up for the pre-departure dinner held for the athletes representing Liberia to the London Games but showed up in London anyway.
According to Brown, when officials became suspicious of the athlete upon his arrival in London and quizzed him about the sports, Saryee acknowledged that he was familiar with Karate but not Judo. “He claimed that he trains on the beach and had fought once in Sierra Leone but we later found out that this was not the case,” Browne noted.
It turns out, Browne told FPA that neither Saryee nor his coach Abu Kamara had any knowledge of Judo. The athlete failed to participate in the Olympics because he also did not have the right uniform to compete.
“He had a karate suit instead of a Judo suit. So we told the organizers that we were withdrawing him from the competition,” Browne explained.
The LNOC confirmed to FPA Sunday that because of the poor organization and embarrassment the Judo Federation has brought to Liberia, the federation has been suspended indefinitely.
“He(Saryee did not know the rules and had never fought before, he says he was familiar with karate and not Judo. Thus, it embarrassed the country and we are suspending the federation, Browne said.
Even more complicating and embarrassing was what FPA later learned the behavior of the coach who told the delegation in London that he needed a coat suit to enable him participate in the opening ceremony in London.
Ironically, Saryee was the only competitor born on Liberian soil representing the post-war nation. The American-born Jangy McKinley Addy as expected delivered the most impressive results for Liberia, winning his men's decathlon 100 and 400 meter Decathlon heat and finishing an impressive 22 in the event at the London games.
Jangy also placed fourth in the Men’s Discus Throw and 5th in the 110 meters hurdle and first in the Decathlon Shot Put.
Addy, born in 1985 in Sacramento, California, was raised in Norcross, Georgia and attended the University of Tennessee. His parents are from Liberia and he was eligible to compete for that nation. The other two Liberian representation, Phobay Kutu Akoi and Raasin Mcintosh did not advance.
But it is the controversy surrounding the Judo event that has many asking questions and raising eyebrows. Why did Liberia pay airfare and travel expenses for an athlete who never competed.
The answer, some say could be found in the writings on the wall leading to the team’s departure for London when the Liberia Judo Federation announced that it was boycotting the 2012 Olympics games due to “unscrupulous covert activities, cloak and dagger politics, financial corruption and violations committed by individuals working in unison within the mother organization of the International Olympic Committee.”
Mr. David Cayman, Chief Executive Compliance Officer declared in a communication addressed to the Judo Federation of the Kingdom of Morocco, that the Liberia National Olympic Committee committed an act of fraud using premeditated and deceptive tactics by entering into the Olympic games an illegal Judo player who is unrecognized by our legally registered Liberia Judo Federation.
The Kingdom of Morocco in every legal sense, has a Bye for the first round and Liberia must forfeit their match or be subject to prosecution upon return to Liberia.”