YOHANN BLAKE’S MANAGER has hit out at UK Athletics, claiming they presented him an ‘insulting’ offer to appear at the Birmingham Grand Prix.
The Jamaican, who won silver medals in the 100m and 200m sprints at the London Olympics behind compatriot Usain Bolt, was offered £25,000 (€31,559) to appear in Birmingham on Sunday.
Instead he will head to a Diamond League meet in Lausanne, Switzerland, this weekend before heading to Zurich on August 29 and Brussels 11 days later, with the three races reported to be earning him more than £300,000 and Blake’s manager, Cubie Seegobin, has hit out at British organisers.
“There’s an arrogance about these meets in England,” he said. ”There’s something wrong. The attitude seems to be, ‘We’ve got Mo Farah so we don’t need anyone else’.
“Birmingham has a big West Indian community and you would have thought they would want to see Yohan Blake or Warren Weir or some of the other Jamaicans.”
A spokesperson for UK Athletics refuted Seegobin’s claims, however, and said the body’s research confirmed it was home grown attractions the crowds wanted to see.
“We can’t comment on negotiations with individual athletes but we’re delighted with the quality of Sunday’s field, which has 18 Olympic gold medallists and 46 medallists,” she said.
“We also have two of the three British gold medallists and our research tells us that it is British athletes who our supporters want to see most. We could have sold out Birmingham three times over on the back of Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford.”