HAVANA TIMES — Cuban sports officials distanced themselves from the world record holder Dayron Robles (110 meter hurdles) alluding to “ethics and discipline problems” shortly after the athlete competed again in an international event despite having quit the national team, reported DPA news.
Alberto Juantorena, president of the Cuban Athletics Federation, confirmed that Robles no longer competes in representation of the island.
In a letter to the International Athletics Federation (IAAF), Juantorena said Cuba did not support the recent return of Robles to the track due to “a problem of discipline and sportsmanship,” explained Trabajadores weekly on its website.
Despite having asked to be released from the national team in January, Robles returned to racing on June 8 unexpectedly without a shirt saying Cuba. The Olympic champion in 110m hurdles at Beijing 2008 finished sixth in the competition in the Memorial Primo Nebiolo Memorial in Turín.
The 26 year old athlete had indicated in January that he did not want to go ahead with his career.
“The young man does not want to continue competing. They tried to convince him, but he persisted and currently is not part of our team,” said then the Cuban athletics commissioner Jorge Luis Sanchez.
Robles, who held the world record in the 110 hurdles with a time of 12.97 seconds, suffered several injuries in recent years.
The athlete also had complained several times about the bad conditions they had on the island to train.
Juantorena confirmed that Cuba will not support Robles participation in any international competition, not being a current member of the athletics federation on the island.
“No athlete may participate in international competitions unless you are a member of a club or federation of the country,” said Juantorena a double gold medalist at Montreal 1976.
“We’re going to keep the initial position to the IAAF Council, because we are against the theft of athletes by the great powers from underdeveloped countries”, Juantorena told Trabajadores.
According to the Cuban newspaper, the IAAF has denied Robles participation in the upcoming Gothenburg Grand Prix.
Juantorena said Robles may now try joining a foreign club to compete. Trabajadores mentioned AS-Monacao as a possibility.
The athlete, however, can not participate in international tournaments for two years, unless he obtains the nationality of another country, noted Juantorena.