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PROTRACK » GENERAL » $40,000 insult?

$40,000 insult?

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1 $40,000 insult? on Thu Aug 23, 2012 1:43 pm



Yohan Blake 'insulted' by $40,000 offer from British promoter to race at Birmingham Grand Prix
The manager of triple Olympic medallist Yohan Blake has accused UK Athletics promoter Ian Stewart of making an “insulting” offer for his sprinter to compete in Sunday’s Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix and of being interested only in providing a platform for double Olympic champion Mo Farah.

Cubie Seegobin said he was taken aback by an email sent to him by Stewart on the final day of the London Olympics offering the Jamaican world champion $40,000 to compete in Birmingham. He said there had been no prior discussion and it “didn’t come close” to the athlete’s true worth.
The offer was rejected and, instead, Blake has accepted invitations to compete in Thursday’s Diamond League meet in Lausanne and the Daimond League meetings in Zurich on Aug 29 and Brussels on Sept 7. As the world’s second fastest sprinter behind Bolt, Blake is believed to be commanding appearance fees of $150,000 – half of what Bolt earns per meeting.
“There’s an arrogance about these meets in England,” said Seegobin. “There’s something wrong. The attitude seems to be, ‘We’ve got Mo Farah so we don’t need anyone else’. Birmingham has a big West Indian community and you would have thought they would want to see Yohan Blake or Warren Weir or some of the other Jamaicans.”
The only men’s sprint race on the Birmingham bill is the 200 metres, in which the top-ranked athlete is American Wallace Spearmon, who was fourth in the Olympic final.
Bolt is a long-term absentee from Britain’s main grand prix athletics events because, under UK tax law, he would be liable for a percentage of his entire global earnings if he competed on British soil. The law was waived for the Olympics.

Seegobin, who also represents Weir, the Olympic 200m bronze medallist, said invitations to British meets appeared to depend on whether the agent or manager was on friendly terms with Stewart.
“This friendly stuff doesn’t work,” he said. “If you’re friends with this manager you get to have your athletes come in. If you’re not friends, you don’t get to be invited. You have to be in the boys’ club.”
Stewart was unavailable for comment but a spokesman for UK Athletics rejected the criticisms of the Birmingham meeting.
“We can’t comment on negotiations with individual athletes but we’re delighted with the quality of Sunday’s field, which has 18 Olympic gold medallists and 46 medallists,” she said.
“We also have two of the three British gold medallists and our research tells us that it is British athletes who our supporters want to see most. We could have sold out Birmingham three times over on the back of Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford.”
Thursday’s Lausanne meeting features 19 Olympic champions, including Bolt, who will also be joining Blake for the final two Diamond League meetings of the season in Zurich and Brussels.
Spectators will be denied the chance to see them go head to head, however, because they have opted to compete in separate sprint events at all three meetings. Bolt is racing in the 200m in Lausanne and Zurich while Blake is contesting the 100m at both meetings. In Brussels, they will swap round with Bolt competing in the 100m and Blake going in the 200m.
Bolt said: “I wouldn’t say we’re avoiding each other but I don’t think we really want to run against each other for the rest of the season. Also, my coach didn’t want us to run together. If we had to we would, because it’s just another competition, but the Olympic Games are already gone so it doesn’t really matter. I think next season will be more fun and you’ll see us run against each other at the end of the season.”

I suppose when you look at it, Blake probably deserves more. But, for $40000 I'll run! Well lets be honest, if they paid for my flights accom etc I would fact can I run please?

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