If you recall, a year ago I submitted a subject access request for the minutes of the 5 November 2006 BMAF Delegates Meeting. The resulting minutes shocked me. I am still trying to come to terms with the fact that BMAF misrepresented my character and the truth of the Linz incident to all eleven BMAF member clubs behind closed doors and that I knew nothing about it for four years.
Back in 2006 I did not know that. Then I was most annoyed at the failure of successive BMAF officers to even answer my complaint against BMAF Team Manager Maurice Doogan. Being kept waiting for up to three months at a time was tiring and irritating. However then I only suspected BMAF procrastination in order to sweep my complaint about a BMAF officer under the rug. In fact it was much worse.
When I politely contacted athletics officers for help and information, I was further dismayed and annoyed to be met with outright hostility - a most unexpected and extraordinary mix of uninterest, condescension and insults. It came uncalled for from total strangers who I had contacted in good faith and who I expected to be impartial, or at least polite to me.
At the time I was so bewildered that I commented to American journalist Ken Stone of Masterstrack a heartfelt: "How these miserable sods think they can treat me in this way, I cannot fathom."
Four years later, having read the minutes of the 5 November 2006 BMAF Delegates meeting, I fathom:
1.BMAF Team Manager Maurice Doogan and BMAF Chairman Winston Thomas, aided and abetted by BMAF Secretary Bridget Cushen, had presented a false BMAF version to all eleven BMAF regional clubs and WMA behind my back. Doogan´s effort was particularly poisonous; falsely alleging that I had been rude to him even prior to Linz. That alleged rudeness to my manager must have laid the foundation of the negative mindset of the BMAF club delegates ensuring my consequent ban from competition.
Not only that, but in the anti-Treacher atmosphere created by Maurice Doogan and Co., the BMAF untruths assumed separate lives of their own. BMAF Chairman Winston Thomas' false statement that his Team Manager Maurice Doogan did not break the IAAF rules in smuggling a disqualified athlete past the Call Room at 2006 WMA Linz got transformed by implication in a 180 degree turnaround that instead I had behaved incorrectly. First, I was in the wrong as “argumentative” (as if I could reverse Doogan´s disgraceful “Take a chance on nobody noticing. I will cover for you” without discussion). Then BMAF argued that by preventing Doogan from smuggling a disqualified runner past the Call Room, I was further in the wrong because I had thus usurped Doogan’s prerogative as a manager to ´´select´ the runner he wanted! (This conveniently forgetting that selection takes place before runners enter the Call Room.) Pure Kafka.
2. The BMAF untruths aggravated my relations with athletics officers in the know. My ´misbehaviour´ contrasting with BMAF Chairman’s blanket exoneration of his own BMAF Team Manager was on official BMAF record. So everybody reacted with scorn when I then called from Sweden and babbled away about nobody addressing my complaint and “injustice.”
“Why is Anthony Treacher making such a fuss? I know, he knows and everybody knows that he is in the wrong.”
Certain highly placed athletics officers went out of their way to be nasty and insulting. That naturally dismayed me even more. I could not fathom why these athletics officers were so disrespectful. Often I did not even understand what they were talking about.
When I complained to BMAF about the new insults and unfairness, then that also unexpectedly takes on a life of its own. Instead of BMAF defending me and reprimanding the officers for insulting me, BMAF finds (in another 180 degree turn) that it is I instead who has behaved improperly by publicizing the insults of the athletics high-ups - "bringing the sport into disrepute." More Kafka.
This little harangue can never adequately express the white-hot fury I still feel one year after actually seeing how British Masters Athletics Federation (BMAF) misrepresented me and the Linz incident behind my back without informing me; let alone giving me a say in the matter. But I hope the British athletics community understands why this wrong and what it leads to. Somebody must do something to stop it recurring.
I fully understand that an athletics body must sometimes discuss an athlete behind closed doors. But it cannot be that everybody knows about the athlete – except the athlete. That is unjust. Fairness and justice requires that an accused be informed.
Recommendation to IAAF and WMA
If an affiliated athletics body writes an opinion about an athlete to formal meeting minutes, then the athletics body shall immediately send a copy of the written minutes to the athlete concerned.