Baptiste and Hackett both left the World Track and Field Championships currently taking place in Moscow, Russia, following reports of doping violations which was confirmed by the National Association of Athletics Administration (NAAA).
Roberts announced earlier this week that the two would no longer be receiving financial assistance as a result of the positive drug tests.
Franklyn, also a Tobagonian, told Newsday yesterday that Roberts should have waited a bit before making the pronouncement.
“I am not too satisfied with the minister’s comments. He made statements that should not have been made until the final report (on Baptiste’s B sample). I don’t know what is the relationship between him and the NAAA but I think he should sit down and have a good chat with them,” he said.
Franklyn, an international qualified Throws coach, also said he was disheartened that Roberts could describe Hackett as a cheat for competing at the Sagicor National Championships in June.
“In Semoy’s case, if as an athlete I was given the opportunity to compete I would compete. I would not blame the athlete for competing and call (her) a cheat. She did not decide on her own to compete,” he pointed out. Hackett was allowed to run after the NAAA Disciplinary Committee exonerated despite her second positive drug test.
Franklyn also denied statements attributed to him in a report in the Tobago News Newspaper on Wednesday, August 14, which quoted him as saying that he was told by his brother and national coach Gerard Franklyn that Baptiste tested negative. He also denied saying that Baptiste’s training partner Tyson Gay accused her of using drugs.
“I was driving when the reporter called and I don’t know if she did not hear too well. I said that in Kelly’s Ann (training camp) another person test positive, Tyson Gay being that person.
“I said that I was wondering if something is targetting or setting up the camp. And the next thing I read in the papers is I said Tyson Gay set her up. That is nothing close to what I said and I wanted to clear that up.”
Franklyn said he knows Baptiste very well and she would not cheat.
“I know her to be someone who trains hard. She is very serious about her event and she would put that extra effort into training rather than thinking about using anything illegal. My first reaction was ‘I really can’t believe that.’ If she really tested positive it was not intentional,” he concluded.