Jeremy Dodson (far right) competing for Samoa internationally
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA- WEDNESDAY 15 NOVEMBER 2017: The Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee – SASNOC, will decide on Olympic track and field sprinter, Jeremy Dodson as an athlete representing Samoa when the Board meets next week.
This was confirmed by SASNOC President Patrick Fepulea’i at a press conference today.
Jeremy Dodson who has represented Samoa in the last three years, last month made some scathing accusations against SASNOC.
In “A Letter to Samoa Sports” in his blog last month, he wrote that “From the three (3) years I have represented Samoa, I have seen officials do nothing but get free trips, trips spent lounging in sponsored hotels while athletes eat processed food. I have seen officials get elected not off merits, but friendships. I have seen decisions being made about sports they have never attended or know anything about. I have even seen sport funding being spent on bar tabs that date back over 3 years in Apia bars!”
The SASNOC President said he was not aware of any accusations until the media contacted him for comment regarding the accusations made by Jeremy on his face book page.
Fepulea’i said SASNOC had asked and given Jeremy time to substantiate his accusations.
“We asked for an explanation but he beat around the bush avoiding responding to us,” said Fepulea’i.
He said SASNOC had also asked him to retract the accusations if he could not prove them, but he (Jeremy) does not want to do that either.
“We have no problem with him exercising his freedom of speech, but he has to know that, that freedom comes with responsibility and he has to face the consequences of his actions,” said Fepulea’i.
The SASNOC President said that Jeremy can make a good advocate for athletes due to his following but he has to know that SASNOC makes the final selection of the athletes to any games.
Born in the United States to a Samoan mother and American father, he wrote that “although that makes me American, my core values are developed by the way I was raised. I was raised in a Samoan culture, a culture of loyalty, honor, family, and among other noble traits. Unfortunately, I couldn’t control where I was born, but I can control what I represent.”
He made several USA National teams, including an Olympic Team. He has represented Samoa in the last three years.