Team Samoa Chef ‘de Mission Nynette Sass, SASNOC President Patrick Fepulea’i and Tuala Mathew Vaea
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – THURSDAY 16 NOVEMBER 2017: Four of Samoa’s athletes picked for next months Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu are challenging their eligibility to represent Samoa.
This was confirmed by Team Samoa Chef ‘de Mission Nynette Sass who said that the athletes have 48 hours to challenge any decision against their eligibility at a cost of US$50.
The issue was raised when the media questioned the availability of sprinter Jeremy Dodson for the Mini Games.
Nynette said Jeremy’s name was in the list of athletes submitted by the Athletics Association, however, there are specific eligibility criteria set down by the Mini Games Authority on the residency of an athlete.
The procedure according to Nynette, is that, once the list of athletes are finalized, then it is circulated to every country competing at the Mini Games and if a country picked out an athlete that should not represent that country based on residency, then they will raise it.
President of the Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee, Patrick Fepulea’i said there are different rules guiding eligibility for different games.
“For the Pacific Games, the eligibility rule is for an athlete to reside in a certain country for five years, and because Jeremy, and another athlete Alex Rose reside overseas, they are not eligible to participate in the Pacific Games,” said Fepulea’i.
However, they can participate in other games such as the Olympics, the Commonwealth and Oceania.
Jeremy represented Samoa in the track events in last year’s Olympic at Rio De Janerio.