JUNIOR CYCLIST Devante Laurence has received an injunction preventing the Trinidad and Tobago Cycling Federation (TTCF) from implementing any decision to select another cyclist to wear the national colors at the 2022 UCI Junior Track World Championship in Tel Aviv , Israel, patented for Aug. 23 -27.
The injunction runs until Tuesday when his challenge that he was not selected to compete in the junior men’s 200-metre flying 200-metres, despite having clocked the fastest time at the trials, will be tried before judge Kevin Ramcharan.
In his court papers supporting the injunction Laurence, 17, of Union Road, Diego Martin, and his Arima Wheelers Cycling club, backed the TTCF’s decision to select another junior male cyclist for the world championship and not to use its discretionary powers. was unfair.
Registration for the World Championship closes July 31. Laurence says that if he is not allowed to register, it will hurt his career as a professional track cyclist.
He also says that if the court does not prevent the Federation from starting the registration process, which opened on Monday, he will not be able to finish as a junior because he will turn 18 in September.
In support of the injunction request, Arima Wheelers Club President Joel Browne said he did not understand how the TTCF could use its discretionary powers to select a male and female cyclist for the championship. World Junior 2021, none of which reached qualifying standards, but were timed as the fastest qualifying competitors. However, the TTCF but cannot do so in 2022.
Laurence’s claim argues that the qualifying time for junior men flying 200 was adjusted in November last year from 10.850 to 10.800 seconds, but the qualifying time for women was not changed.
Laurence clocked 11.518 seconds at trials in June. He was unable to take part in the May 7 trials due to injury and was cleared the following month.
His club wrote to the TTCF requesting his selection to the squad, but was told it was not possible as he did not meet the qualification standard required for selection.
In correspondence to the club, TTCF racing secretary Claire Orr said there was “absolutely no bias” in the election of the junior men’s flying 200m representative.
Orr said cyclists were selected based on qualifying times and only when they failed to do so were alternative selection methods selected.
She argued that a cyclist had reached the qualifying time and had been selected to represent TT in the competition in the women’s junior category since the UCI requirement was that a ‘cyclist’ attend the championships, he did not there was therefore no “vacant place”.
Laurence’s lawsuit accused the TTCF of preferring to prevent TT from having a junior male competitor at the event rather than using its powers to select him.
“I have worked rigorously for the past four years to participate in the 2021 and 2022 UCI Junior Track World Championships.
“In 2021 I didn’t do the best time in practice, I finished second in practice in 2021. I kept working hard and I had the best time in 2022 despite my injury…
“The 2022 UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championship is my last chance to wear my national colors and represent TT as a junior.
“This sudden change on the part of the Respondent to select only cyclists who have met the qualifying standard is unfair and constitutes a clear breach of the Respondent’s duty to me as a registered cyclist.
“It’s heartbreaking that even after posting the fastest time of any man in my trials, I wasn’t selected for the team.
“…All my hard work would have been wasted.”
His lawsuit also warned that other young athletes would be discouraged from competing in the future.
Laurence and the club are represented by attorneys Dr Emir Crowne, Matthew Gayle, Jason Jones and Amy Rajkumar, all of New City Chambers.
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is the world governing body for cycling recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).