(ATR) The field is set for the April election for leadership of the Pan American Sports Organization.
There are five nominees for three vice presidential positions, one representing each of the three groups that comprise PASO. The National Olympic Committee presidents of Mexico and El Salvador, Carlos Padilla and Eduardo Palomo, will face off in group one according to documentation sent to PASO and media members.
Incumbent PASO vice president Keith Joseph of St. Vincent and the Grenadines will compete with Sara Rosario Velez of Puerto Rico in group two while Mario Moccia of Argentina will run unopposed for the group three seat.
Joseph’s nomination by St. Vincent and the Grenadines NOC president Trevor Bailey to serve once again as a vice president of PASO calls into question his commitment to the presidential campaign he is also mounting. Joseph is competing with Brazilian, Chilean and St. Lucian NOC presidents Carlos Nuzman, Neven Ilic and Richard Peterkin and former Dominican Republic NOC chief Jose Puello to run the organization.
Joseph has not responded to requests to confirm or deny rumors that he intends to withdraw from the PASO presidential race. These rumors surfaced at the meeting of the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees in Barranquilla, Colombia at the beginning of February.
Bailey has also not responded to request for comment regarding his nomination of Joseph for the positions of vice president and at-large executive board member.
The general secretary of the SVGNOC is one of 15 PASO members nominated by members of their respective NOCs to serve on the next executive board. Peruvian Olympic Committee president Jose Quinones is the only one of the 16 nominated at-large executive members who nominated themselves for the position.
There are six nominees for groups two and three and four in group one that will be narrowed down to three at-large members for each group at the April 26 election.
Each of the four nominees in group one will serve on the next executive board due to the vice presidential race between Padilla and Pacas. The loser of the race will take the third at-large spot in the region, joining Haitian NOC president Alain Jean-Pierre and USOC chief executive Scott Blackmun who will replace USOC chairman Larry Probst’s position on the PASO board.
"Larry has actively served on the PASO Executive Committee for the past eight years and we now hope that the members of PASO will convey that responsibility to Scott Blackmun, so that the USOC can continue to contribute to the development and success of the PASO organization," USOC Chief External Affairs Officer Patrick Sandusky tells ATR.
Group two is a race between Joseph and Velez, three executive board incumbents including St. Kitts and Nevis NOC head Alphonso Bridgewater, Grenada’s Veda Victor Bruno and Jamaica NOC president Michael Fennell as well as Cuba’s Roberto Leon Richards Aguiar.
Group three consists of incumbents Quinones and IOC member from Aruba Nicole Hoevertsz as well as newly elected CANOC president Brian Lewis, Paraguayan NOC chief Camilo Perez Lopez Moreira, Guyana NOC chief K.A. Juman-Yassin and Chilean NOC vice president Miguel Angel Mujica.
The next leadership group of PASO will be finalized at the April 26 election in Punta del Este, Uruguay.The Pan American Sports Organization represents 41 National Olympic Committees in the Americas. President Julio Maglione will step down from the organization once a new president is elected.
Written by Kevin Nutley
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