Surfer ‘AWOL’

The Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) and the Barbados Surfing Association (BSA) are searching for answers that would explain why a surfer and coach would reportedly cut short their national duties in Panama.

Yesterday president of the BSA Paul Bourne confirmed reports that an investigation has been launched into allegations that Josh Burke, despite qualifying for the second round of the 2023 Pan American Surfing Games, left the competition and boarded a plane to Australia, where he is competing in another international event.

It was also reported that his father Allan Burke, who was coach of the Barbadian contingent in Panama, also boarded the flight to Australia, even though the team was still in action.

Describing the incident as a “serious breach”, Bourne said athletic bodies have already done their due diligence and the BOA is expected to deliver a decision on Friday.

In the meantime, the younger Burke has been pulled from the Barbados team scheduled to leave in three weeks’ time to attend the World Surfing Games in El Salvador.

Bourne also said that depending on the findings of the BOA, further action could be taken.

“The BSA and the BOA met on the issue. We also reached out to Josh, who was represented by his father, and we heard their side on Tuesday morning.

“The BOA since said that they would be having a meeting to look at all

of the evidence and they would make their decision. Josh is an elite athlete and is being funded by the BOA and we get the majority of our funding from them as well,” Bourne said. (CM)

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