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Duo set for Games
After two months of legal wrangling, Dexter St Louis and his step daughter Rheann Chung are set to be announced as the country’s representatives for table tennis at the Commonwealth Games.
For several hours yesterday it appeared that there would be no representatives as Court of Appeal upheld an injunction blocking the T&T Table Tennis Association (TTTTA)’s selections for the games, which will be held in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, from April 5-15.
The decision almost dashed hopes of having representation at the Games as the association would have been unable to file an appeal to the Privy Council before the deadline for the submission of the representatives, next week.
However, the T&T Guardian understands that the association, on advice of its attorneys, decided to reverse its position and send St Louis and Chung to ensure that there is representation.
The decision was expected to be ratified by the association’s selection committee at an emergency meeting, which was carded for last night, under the provision at St Louis and Chung’s ongoing lawsuit against the association’s selection would be withdrawn.
In its oral judgement yesterday, Appellate Judges Allan Mendonca, Peter Jamadar and Prakash Moosai ruled that they had found evidence that the process of selection used by the association was not fair or transparent.
They said that the injunction was justified as the judicial determination on the fairness of the process trumped the need to send representatives to the Games.
The substantive lawsuit over the process is carded to go to trial before Justice Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell on Monday.
In the lawsuit, St Louis, 50, and 33-year-old Chung are questioning the process used by the association to select 19-year-old Aaron Wilson and 21-year-old Yuvraj Dookram to the team and Arun Ramnarine as reserve for the Games.
St Louis and Chung, who live in France, are the most decorated athletes to ever represent T&T in the sport. They were seeking damages for breach of contract, conspiracy and unlawful interference.
In defence of the lawsuit, the TTTTA claimed that the duo was informed via email of the selection criteria and chose not to participate. It also alleged that they only decided to challenge the process after it was completed.
The TTTTA also claimed that it had closely followed the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC)’s guidelines and deadlines for selection, which focuses on youth participation.
In granting St Louis and Chung the injunction in January, Donaldson-Honeywell refused an application seeking to compel the association to refer the dispute to TTOC’s arbitration tribunal.
St Louis and Chung are being represented by Mathew Gayle, Sheriza Khan and Dr Emir Crowne, while Dinesh Rambally, Kiel Tacklalsingh and Stefan Ramkissoon are representing the TTTTA.
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