Bovell refutes "sour grapes" allegations

Friday, August 12, 2016 - 10:00

Trinidad and Tobago Olympic swimmer George Bovell III is responding to those questioning the timing of his criticism against the world governing swimming body, FINA.

Bovell slammed the organisation on Thursday for not doing enough to eradicate doping in swimming.

CLICK to read what Bovell had to say

But many have been criticising his comments as "sour grapes", considering they came soon after he placed 3rd in the 50 metres freestyle event and failed to qualify for the final.

Seth De Freitas wrote on Facebook, "This is disappointing, coming from George Bovell. Show some class bro. You got licks. Don't blame your loss on "allegations", unless you have concrete evidence to support it,".

Deea Ricks was equally forthright, saying "Sounds like sour grapes, wondering if you had qualified and won the Gold would it still be an issue?"

Jevon Ford also felt that Bovell's comments were just an excuse for not making it into the final, saying "Excuses..4 years ago his time wouldn't have seen him make it to the finals in the same event..neither would it have been enough at Beijing. I can't deny there is doping in sport but I'm tired of his excuses for bad performances. When he does well all is good with the sport but when he does badly all of a sudden there is an issue. Man up and accept that you didn't do as well as you would have hoped or even as good as you had done previously."

Bovell took to Twitter to respond, saying on Friday, "My interview with the UK guardian about FINA was simply a chance to speak up for what I believe is right & has nothing to do with my results."

In fact, CNC3 Digital can confirm that Bovell's criticisms came long before he hit the water for Thursday's swim. 

On Sunday he posted two tweets that some had felt were related to the Marissa Dick/Thema Williams controversy.

His first tweet read, "It's laughable when cheaters who escape detection by covering up their dirty deeds actually think that they are good athletes."

He said in his second tweet, "Robbing others of the fruits of their honest work makes you a cheater, not just failing a drug test. You will have to live with yourself!"

He confirmed that his position had nothing to do with the Marissa Dick/Thema Williams issue, by retweeting Nicole Joseph-Chin who had posted, "#GeorgeBovell is all about principle. Get off the imagination trip people. He's not talking about MD here."

Bovell told the UK Guardian, “I see the cheating going on. I see the people with terrible technique swimming incredible times, and the people dropping lots of time late in their careers.” 

“The people at the bottom, like us, we just feel like gladiators. Ancient Roman slave gladiators,” he said.

Bovell has been getting support from many on Facebook as well.

Kavita Ninah said, "Bovell, like Sammy, has the courage to speak out. Unfortunately money talks and victimization is the response of the day. Good luck with your future ventures Sir."

Lyn Isaac also supported Bovell, saying "Thank you George Bovell for service to T& did us proud and I admire you for your courage in stating what you know as an insider. I am proud of your contributions!"

Bovell won bronze in the 200 metres Individual Medley at the 2004 Olympics, finishing behind Americans Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte, setting a new national record of 1.58.80 in the process.