Bahamian 400m World Champion, Steve Gardner, has expressed frustration with recent statements made by the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations that suggested he had made himself unavailable for the World Athletics Relays.

Earlier this week, reports had claimed that a key reason for the country’s withdrawal from the World Relays was the unavailability of several athletes, included top stars Gardiner and Shaunae Miller-Uibo.

The quarter-miler has, however, insisted that things were quite the opposite and he had indeed made himself available to compete at the event.

“Each time there are relays to run, my name, my image, and my reputation gets dragged through the mud. I want to set the record straight,” Gardiner told The Bahamas Tribune.

“Ever since my first competition for the senior team it has been one conflict after another and my name is always brought up,” he added.

“My management did indicate to the BAAA my availability to compete at the 2021 World Relays.”

Gardiner and Miller-Uibo were part of a triumphant 4x400m mixed relays team at the 2017 Games, which was held in the Bahamas.

‘…I did indicate personally and through my management company that I was available to compete.”

 

 The Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) has confirmed that it will not send a team to World Athletic Relays, set to take place in Chorzow, Poland, next month.

According to reports, the association like many has been affected adversely by the COVID-19 pandemic and was forced to give up on having a team at the event due to a lack of athletes able to participate.

Bahamian superstars Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Steven Gardiner, through their representatives, indicated that they would not be willing to travel outside of the United States due to ongoing coronavirus pandemic and travel protocols.

“We didn’t have athletes who are available to compete,” President of the BAAA Drumeco Archer told The Bahamas Tribune.

“Shaunae (Miller-Uibo) and Steven (Gardiner) camp indicated that they have decided not to travel outside of the US because of COVID-19,” he added.

“And a lot of our elite athletes are still in university and college, who are not going to be released from their duties. So, we thought it would be prudent for us not just to take a team for the team’s sake. If we’re going to take a team, we will take a team that will have an impact.”

Earlier this week, another top Caribbean sprint nation, Jamaica, announced that it would not participate in the event due to the difficulty of travel and COVID-19 restrictions.

The Bahamas were hosts to the first three editions of the tournament.

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