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Cycling Federation clarifies status of Justin and Corey Williams

Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2019. 8:44 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Earlier this week, former Cross Country Cycling Classic champion Justin Williams posted on social media, threatening to withdraw from future events over alleged mistreatment by the Cycling Federation of Belize.

Among other things he cited lagging payments of the prizes he won in the 2015 and 2018 Holy Saturday Cross Country and inability to compete directly with Belizean teams.

Now, the Federation has hit back, charging that while Justin and his brother Corey are American citizens with Belizean parents, they have wanted to have it both ways by competing as Belizeans too. They first competed in 2006 in Belize in the Junior National Championship and got Belizean passports five years ago, intending to represent Belize in international events.

But according to the Federation, they have yet to register with the International Cycling Union (UCI) and USA Cycling to change their nationalities, and in fact, Justin as reigning U.S. Amateur National Criterium champion is being considered to represent the U.S. National Team in the upcoming Amgen Tour of California in May.

The Federation further notes that Justin is a UCI Continental Professional cyclist as of 2015-2017 and was allowed to participate despite rules declaring professional cyclists not eligible for Belize’s amateur schedule.

 On the prizes, the Federation says that all 2015 prizes were issued to the BEL-CAL team of which Williams was a part, and that various meetings were arranged by the then-President Dion Leslie with the Minister of Lands between 2015 and 2018 concerning the land offered as a special prize. While indicating he wanted the land in his mother’s name, his parents apparently missed the meeting.

The 2018 prizes were paid, the Federation said, as instructed by Williams, in cash to Glen Flowers and gift certificates to David Henderson. Williams was a member of the Belize Link-up team.

On the matter of team policy, the Federation said it recognized BEL-CAL and Belize Link-up as teams but that the “foreigner policy” instituted by the CFB officially disallowed foreigners riding directly for local teams since 2016, after allowing two per team in 2014 and 1 in 2015.

Seemingly also directing this at complaints of foreign domination of the Cross Country and other races, the Federation says: “The thought process was that we should race against the foreigners, not have them on local teams where the local athletes would be obliged to seek results themselves instead of leaving it up to the foreigner on their team to get the results as in the past.”


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