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Golden Girl Distraught Over 1989 Suspension



Two-time olympic gold medalist Pauline Davis is still distraught over a 1989 suspension that threatened her track and field career.

Davis says the suspension came down in Puerto Rico, as she was gunning for the number 1 ranking in the world. Just moments before she was set to compete in what was the race of her life at the 1989 edition of the Sr. CAC games, she was blocked from competing by Bahamian officials.

The 5 time olympian says it all stemmed from her not staying at the athletes village the day before the 200m final. That evening, when she arrived at the village, which was 2 and a half hours away from the venue, there was no food left for her to eat. For that reason, her coach arranged for her to stay at a hotel next door to the track venue.

But BAAA officials didn’t agree with Davis staying apart from the team and demanded that her coach return her to the hotel. Davis says she was unaware of the discussions as she slept that night.

The next day, it was clear that trouble was brewing. As she lined up to compete, a BAAA official approached her on the track.

The vice president of the BAAA at that time was Alpheus Hawk Finlayson. He says he was in Puerto Rico for the event and says Davis and Frank Rutherford were suspended for not following the team rules, and staying where the team was located. He denies that the suspension was a lifetime ban.

What Finlayson and Davis do agree on is that then prime minister, Sir Lynden Pindling had to get involved, and Davis was reinstated 6 months later to compete at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in New Zealand. Despite going on to achieve huge olympic success after those events, Davis is still left with mental scars from the incident.

Davis speaks more about this incident, and more challenges she faced in her newly released book titled running sideways. It will be available at her book signing on March 8th and at Logos book store.