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PROTRACK » International Results & News » Athletes leaving, discontented with Stephen Francis's MVP club

Athletes leaving, discontented with Stephen Francis's MVP club

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MVP season of discontent?

Leighton Levy and André Lowe, Gleaner Writers
The Jamaican Gleaner
Monday | September 26, 2011

• Athletes part company with high-profile club

This seems to be the season of discontent at the MVP Track Club, home to some of the world's best athletes. Several athletes have already parted company with the club and there are strong reports that a number of the outfit's high profile representatives are considering ending their relationship with the organisation. In recent weeks, upcoming athletes Kimani Roach, Peter Matthews and Darrion Bent have left the University of Technology (UTech)/MVP set-up, where they were conditioned by coaching guru Stephen Francis and his staff.

However, based on information gleaned from well-placed sources, at least one or two of the club's more celebrated figures have been examining their options and are likely to take their training elsewhere, with issues relating to treatment, attention and money among their prime concerns.

It is understood that one of the athletes, one of the club's biggest names, was so upset with certain arrangements while at the club's Italy-based camp during the build-up to the just-concluded IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Daegu, South Korea, that the athlete actually returned home from the camp ahead of schedule.

This particular athlete is currently on holidays and while an opportunity to comment was declined, the athlete did confirm that their future with the club is under consideration and that there are problems.

As it relates to those who have already left, Bent is now a student of the University of the West Indies, while Matthews remains a student at UTech, but now trains with Racers Track Club.

Only last week, national 400m hurdles junior record holder, Ristananna Tracey, who represented Jamaica at the recent IAAF World Championships in Athletics in Daegu, South Korea, packed her bags and has also entrusted the continued development of her career in the hands of Glen Mills and his Racers Track Club set-up, which also boasts the likes of double world record holder Usain Bolt and World 100m champion Yohan Blake.

Tracey is yet to release a statement on her reasons for leaving the club, but the 19-year-old, when contacted, declined the opportunity to speak on record about circumstances relating to her decision.

Anthony Davis, athletic director of UTech, yesterday confirmed the departure of the athletes, but explained that none of them has so far expressed to him why they have chosen to train elsewhere.

Speaking from Florida where he has been for several days, Davis revealed that on his return today he hopes to meet with the athletes to hear why they opted to leave. Word on the ground, however, is that the departure of the athletes has nothing to do with the school.

MVP president Bruce James declined to comment when contacted yesterday, offering instead: "I am not going to comment on that at this point."
The track club has spawned World and Olympic champions Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Melaine Walker and Brigitte Foster-Hylton, as well as world-ranked athletes Shericka Williams, Kaliese Spencer, Asafa Powell, Michael Frater and Nesta Carter.

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