The T&T Gymnastics Federation (TTGF) yesterday stuck to its decision to remove Thema Williams from the Rio Test Event, effectively curtailing any chances she had of qualifying for the Olympic Games.
The TTGF withdrew Williams from the qualifier on Saturday claiming a report from her US coach John Geddert suggested that she was suffering with a sore ankle and was not performing at a high level during one of her training days.
Instead Williams' alternate Marisa Dick was scheduled to compete in the artistic gymnastics event at 3.30 pm (T&T time) in an effort to book a spot in the Games in August.
However, Williams' coach later claimed that the TTGF misunderstood him and the gymnast was able to compete since she was cleared by a physician.
Her mother, Helen Adams, and attorney Keith Scotland appealed, claiming the decision to remove her was irrational, illegal, null and void. They requested a teleconference meeting at 10 am yesterday to discuss the issue.
Adams said yesterday that the Federation did not respond to the request.
"The Federation did not respond to the appeal. I am very hurt. However, this has been the pattern from the beginning. This is not the first time something like this has happened. But God has his plan and I am waiting to see it unfold."
Adams compared the Federation's handling of the appeal to how swiftly they dealt with the information that Williams was injured.
"Strangely enough, the Federation was able to have an emergency meeting immediately after Geddert sent a report concerning Thema's progress. They have not responded to us up to now, but they were able to meet swiftly when John (Geddert) sent an email concerning Thema."
This situation has been brewing for the past six months after Williams qualified for the Test event.
Williams, 20, qualified for the Olympic Test event after placing 59th overall in the artistic women's individual qualification at the World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, in October 2015.
Dick also competed at the World Championships, placing 77th overall. Williams should have been automatically selected by the TTGF to represent this country at the Test event. However, the Federation insisted that Williams and Dick had to compete in two more events before one was chosen for the Test event.
After consultation among members of the TTGF, Williams was chosen.
However, in February semi-nude photographs of Williams and Dick circulated on social media which forced the TTGF to take the matter to its Disciplinary Committee. Williams received support from numerous local fans including her godmother, comedian Nikki Crosby who initiated a campaign called "We Support Thema."
Crosby, along with soca artiste Fay Ann Lyons-Alvarez, comedian Penelope Spencer, Soca Warriors footballer Maylee Attin-Johnson and many other women posed topless with their hands covering their chests, a similar picture to that of Williams.
After deliberation the TTGF confirmed Williams as T&T's representative for the Rio Test event, before the events of the last two days.