HAVANA ( Associated Press) — Cuba confirmed the desertion in Mexico of Olympic wrestling champion Ismael Borrero, shortly before the start of the discipline’s Pan American Championship in the resort of Acapulco.
A note from the National Sports Institute (INDER), published in its digital bulletin JIT, indicated on Wednesday that the arrival on the eve of the delegation to Mexico “was marked by the abandonment” of Borrero.
“Borrero’s decision constitutes a serious indiscipline within the Cuban sports system and leaves aside the objectives of his team in this competition and in the four-year period towards the 2024 Paris Olympic Games,” JIT added.
The Cubans will debut on Thursday in the Greco-Roman style, with the participation of Leonardo Herrera (60 kg), Juan Luis Conde (97 kg) and Oscar Pino (130 kg). The fighters of the classic modality entered the scene on Friday.
The stellar Borrero, one of the favorites for his career as a champion, joined a long list of athletes from the island who left their delegations on trips for competitions or training, especially in very popular sports on the island such as baseball or boxing. .
Athletes on the island had an orientation towards amateurism for decades, after the authorities in the 1960s — in the heat of the revolution — prohibited rented sports, alleging that it was a form of exploitation by businessmen and coaches.
However, in recent years the possibility of professionalism has progressively opened up.
In addition, the island is experiencing a strong migratory trend, not only in sports, but in all fields due to a severe economic crisis with food and medicine shortages and difficulties in daily life. The situation was aggravated by US sanctions pressing for a change in its political model, as well as as a result of the paralysis due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Pan-American wrestling tournament, which includes a women’s branch, is a qualifier for the World Cup in Belgrade in September and the Pan-American Games in Santiago de Chile next year.