Unproven travel expenses amount to millionaire debt at CONADE

Documents issued by CONADE reveal over 40 athletes and 62 persons, including coaches and officers, have debts with the commission for not proving travel expenses from 2015 to 2018

Unproven travel expenses amount to millionaire debt at CONADE
The issue was inherited from the Alfredo Castillo administration – Photo: Mario Guzmán/EL UNIVERSAL
English 27/09/2019 16:47 Alain Arenas Mexico City Actualizada 17:16

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48 athletes and other 62 persons, including coaches, members of multidisciplinary bodies, and officers of Mexico’s National Sports Commission (Conade) owe a total of MXN $74, 756,969.20 for not proving travel expenses.

EL UNIVERSAL Deportes has copies of 45 personalized letters and a document titled “Direct supports (2016, 2017, 2018 debts)” issued by Conade’s Investment and Fiduciary Assessment Department, which reveals the names of those involved and the amounts they could not prove.

The documents include 110 persons (among them 48 athletes) who have debts from 2015 to 2018 with Conade. The documents were issued during the administration of Alfredo Castillo Cervantes.

According to the head of the Investment and Fiduciary Assessment Department of the former administration, Javier Meza, the issue was inherited to the Ana Guevara administration. “They are not debts. They are just in process of being verified,” explained Israel Benítez, assistant director of Sports Quality in Conade.

However, the documents contradict him and explicitly point out they are debts.

Over ten athletes were interviewed and they asserted to have proved their travel expenses, but they blamed Meza’s department of losing their invoices; others accepted to have done it out of time, and others denied the debt.

Ana Guevara, current director of Conade, said that the future of those in debt is not in hands of the sports commission. “We are waiting for the response of the Finance Ministry (SHCP) to know what measures will be taken regarding this issue,” she mentioned during the news conference of the presentation of the Tour de France in Mexico. “In the end, the verification [process] is pending.”

Guevara also mentioned that the Auditor General of the Federation (ASF) was very clear in that all the resources had to be proven.

Federations are also involved. For one part, it is pitiful because verifications are not that difficult regarding bureaucracy. They are easy to prove, with plane tickets, boarding, expenses… unfortunately, in many cases, they exceed MXN $1 million.”

The former runner recognized that in no case the scholarships of the athletes in debt have been suspended, despite regulations specifying that if 30 days after the competition for which they asked economical resources they do not prove their travel expenses, the economical support would be suspended or canceled.

“It was a matter of criterion, that was left like that. It is worth mentioning that from this problem all the issues with scholarship cuts arose,” mentioned the head of Conade.