Track and field agents could boycott Greece

The agents of some of the world’s top track and field superstars are considering a boycott of Greek events due to the money organizers owe their clients, according to an interview with one of the most prominent by a Greek newspaper. Speaking to the daily Goal News last week, Ricky Simms, the Irish agent of world record holder in the 100 and 200 meters, Usain Bolt, revealed that the Association of Athletics Managers (AAM) met earlier this month in Doha, Qatar, and discussed how to respond to Greek events organizers, since, in the last couple of years, the latter have not paid the money due many of the athletes for their presence here. Simms suggested that one of the options could be a blanket boycott of Greek meets this summer, although this is not the most likely scenario at this point. He added that Greek organizers had promised the agents impressive amounts of money for their clients and have either not paid them at all or have only paid half of the amounts due. «What happens in Greece is unacceptable. We know the financial problems that exist there but, if they cannot meet their obligations, they’d better not promise so much money,» Bolt’s agent stated. «We are going to discuss the issue soon and see what we will do. But I am not ruling anything out,» said Simms, with the next meeting of the association scheduled for April. The AAM includes 26 agents who represent some of the world’s top champions, including Bolt (who took part in a meeting in Thessaloniki last September), Yelena Isinbayeva, Asafa Powell, Tyson Gay, Haile Gebrselassie and many others. The news adds to the uncertainty surrounding the meetings to be held in this country, after the cancellation of the indoor meet in the capital earlier this season. In the outdoor season, the Thessaloniki event is certain to be canceled and the Athens Tsiklitiria will likely not take place either, according to reports, leaving only the Papaflessia, Vardinoyiannia and Venizelia meetings on the international calendar.

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