Mauritian swimmer Bradley Vincent has been dealt a three-year suspension by the Mauritius Olympic Committee (MOC) for “gross misconduct” stemming from the Commonwealth Games this summer.
The national governing body claims that Vincent used disrespectful words toward a Mauritian representative and failed to attend the flag-raising ceremony at the Commonwealth Games village in Birmingham last July. Three other Mauritian swimmers — Gregory Anodin, Tessa Ip, and Alicia Kok Shun — also missed the flag-raising ceremony, but warnings were issued instead of sanctions. They all claimed their absence was due to transportation problems following their training session, but the MOC didn’t seem convinced.
“This decision was taken upon the submission of the Disciplinary Committee, which was held on 05 October 2022,” the MOC wrote in a press release. “The Disciplinary Committee found that both charges which were leveled against Bradley Vincent established by the MOC. He was found liable of gross misconduct for having used disrespectful words against the representative of the Commonwealth Games Association Mauritius and having negligently and/or recklessly failed to attend the flag raising ceremony, during the recent Commonwealth Games, in Birmingham.”
Vincent denied having insulted the representative in question and pleaded for the MOC to reconsider its decision.
“There were other people on the bus who can be interviewed — I simply asked what had happened with the £100, which was to be given to the sportsmen as pocket money,” Vincent said. “Because the others had already received the money, I asked the person who was in charge of the village where we were staying about the swimmers’ pocket money. It was completely legitimate to ask him for such information.”
“I did not dope, nor made racist or discriminatory remarks,” he said. “However, I am suspended for three years. Athletes found guilty of doping or acts of discrimination, which are much more serious, from a sporting point of view, have less severe sanctions or are suspended for less than three years.”
The sanction took effect on Wednesday. As it currently stands, Vincent is not allowed to compete at the next Island Games. The 30-year-old won four gold medals at the last Island Games in 2019.
“If there are no Island Games, I have no more goals,” Vincent said. “So I don’t know what will be next for me. If I can’t make my contribution for the relay, it’s the Mauritius team that will be penalized.”
A native of Cape Town, South Africa, Vincent represented Mauritius at the 2016 Olympics. Mauritius is an island in the Indian Ocean just east of Madagascar. His 18 Mauritian records are matched only by countryman Mathieu Marquet, who also owns 18 national standards.
Vincent said he hopes the MOC overturns its decision because he doesn’t have the financial resources to bring the dispute to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, a “Supreme Court” of sorts located in Switzerland.
“If I have to turn to the sports arbitration court in Switzerland, I will not be able to do so, because it is far too expensive,” he said. “I remain hopeful that the COM will reconsider this decision.”