Sections of the press have been critical of the manner in which the Dominica Olympic Committee (DOC) conducted its last Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Fort Young Hotel on January 24, 2013. At that meeting, supposedly affiliated members of the DOC and the media were blocked out of the proceedings.

For an explanation, the SUN spoke to Phillip White, the treasurer of the DOC for a third term. He said that to be a candidate for election, one must be a delegate at the special conference which follows immediately after the dissolution of the incumbent executive at the end of the DOC AGM.

The president and general secretary of the DOC do not have to be affiliated with any association, White said.

He told The SUN that it was the practice of the DOC to have these two fora unlike some bodies which have the election of officers within the agenda of the AGM. In the OC the members of the board become delegates, because as a board member one is not a delegate at the AGM. So the members of the dissolved executive become delegates and candidates for elections as well as the delegates of affiliated members.

One becomes an affiliate of the DOC by applying for membership, White added. The applicant has to show that it has an executive committee, that it is affiliated to its international federation, and has activities within the sporting fraternity.

For the DOC to exist, it must have five Olympic sports affiliated to the international federation, and once you have these five associations the DOC can function. Then you continue to add other sports associations.

White said the functioning associations of the last four years were football, athletics, boxing, volleyball, table tennis and tennis have been up and down, and swimming has not been active. And now we have new sports like handball, fencing, archery, cycling and taekwondo.

Questioned as to whether these non-functioning associations were eligible to participate in the AGM, White gave an emphatic yes.

"We have all the affiliates, those actively functioning and those that are in the process of coming on stream as well as the non-Olympic sports. Each affiliate of the DOC is entitled to have two delegates," he said.

Prior to the AGM, two sports: cycling and squash were written to, to prove their affiliation with their international federations so that they could attend the meeting. Cycling responded admitting that they were not totally affiliated. Squash did not respond; so these two associations were not allowed to attend the meeting.

Taekwondo, archery and handball were represented at that meeting and they are affiliated to their international federation, with paid up annual affiliation fee to the DOC. The DOC established that these bodies were affiliated to their international federations as stated, because to get assistance from the DOC you have to show that you are affiliated to your international federation. And these associations have been obtaining equipment from their international federations; so that is one measure of proving that they are internationally affiliated.

The elected members of the executive for the next four-year term (2013-2016) are: Felix Wilson- president. He was challenged by the present president of cycling, Loren Challenger. Wilson won the ballot 9 votes to 7. Cedric Harris of athletics was elected vice president unopposed; Thomas Dorsett won against Derek Angol 12-5; Phillip White, football won against Brendan Defoe of table tennis 11-5. Albert Loblack of volleyball and Marcia Reynolds of netball went three ballots before Loblack won 8-7. Avril Elie was elected as public relations officer unopposed. Glen Etienne (football) and Allan Morris (basketball) were the two elected committee members. Woodrow Lawrence was elected athletes representative.