Beach-volleyball for rich countries say VASANOC SG

Vanuatu Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (VASANOC) one of the minnows in the Olympic family doubts whether the International Olympic Committee (IOC) truly wants to stem out cheats and protect clean athletes.

This follows the decision not to allow 16th ranked Vanuatu beach-volleyball girls to replace Italy, after one of the Italian girls returned a positive drugs test.

“The decision is outrageous,” said a very disappointed VASANOC Secretary General, Cyrille Mainguy.

“We are devastated by this decision. It seems to me that beach-volleyball is only for rich countries.”

Mainguy said the nation of Vanuatu and Oceania in general were devastated when the girls did not qualify through the continental championship.

So a week before the Olympics one of the two Italian girls tested positive so logically according to the VASANOC SG his girls should get the call up.

“Unfortunately FIVB (volleyball’s world body) and IOC allowed a player swap. Vanuatu lodged a complaint to CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) because we believe that beach-volleyball is a team sport.

“One of the player being tested positive means that during the whole qualification the results will also be affected.”

Mainguy says FIVB’s response was that the player only got tested last week and was not cheating before.

“I hardly believe that’s the case now for the CAS case all their response was the case was dismissed.

“On our case we mentioned that we believe it’s a team sport and should get disqualified, but the IOC Charter allows for player swap on exceptional circumstances or on medical grounds.

“To me having a player tested positive is not an exception circumstances and definitely not on medical grounds.

“I am still very very very disappointed, very upset the fact that CAS just rejected our  case. VASANOC we want more explanation.” said Mainguy.

He says they cannot do much now that competition has started but will write to the IOC and FIVB.

“Our girls are not here, still crying back in Vanuatu and I really feel for them, however I still believe it is very unfair to our girls and especially it seems like a small nation like Vanuatu having two girls being 16th in the world is so much commitment, so much money has gone into that where we don’t get help from our government and so on and so forth.

“We feel like beach-volleyball is a game for rich countries and yeah I think its wrong, why do we have to spend so much effort, so much money as an NOC into beach-volleyball and now we see that the FIVB and the people up there don’t recognise that and to make unfair decisions.

“Like I said we have to accept the decisions but it doesn’t mean we will not complain about and you know we’ll definitely write to the IOC and FIVB to express our disappointment and I still believe its outrageous.

“You know the last few years, you know what happened with Russia all the doping cases I thought the IOC and the Ifs were very strong in having clean athletes, unfortunately even the CAS did not recognise that or whether they took if very lightly.

“I don’t know but I still feel Vanuatu got treated like a small nation that is so far away and you know because they are far away they so small people won’t  care about it, I can tell you VASANOC does care about our girls and we’ll definitely write to the IOC and FIVB.” 


Linline Matauatu and Miller Pata. Photo: FIVB