Mandatory Challenjah: Is Sascoc battle behind athletes’ withdrawal?

2010-10-06 15:19

So finally Caster Semenya, Mbulaeni Mulaudzi and Khotso Mokoena are out of South Africa’s Commonwealth Games team.

The reason the trio gave for their withdrawal is that they are injured.

The three top athletes also have in common the fact that they are the only ones who brought home medals from the IAAF World Championships in Berlin last year.

Another thing – the last one – that Semenya, Mulaudzi and Mokoena share is that they are perceived to be pro the Leonard Chuene leadership which has been suspended by Sascoc.

This is what brings the conspiracy theorists into action.

Where in the world have you heard of three top athletes in one country withdrawing on the eve of a big competition, and all of them citing injuries?


The suspicion is that the three could be merely pawns in the bigger battle between Sascoc and the suspended ASA board members – Chuene, Kakata Maponyane and Simon Dlamini.

How can lightning – in the form of injuries – strike thrice at the same time on all the top athletes who have so much in common?

And why did these injuries only came to the fore a few days before the championships started?

Apparently, Mokoena was cleared of the injury in the same week the team departed, but he still refused to board the plane to India.

If memory is still providing the best of services, it was the same Mulaudzi who competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympic despite being sick.

This only emerged after his failure to win a medal.

Another one missing in action is Simon Magakwe, who is said to be – you guessed right – injured!

Sascoc’s promise for an investigation into these athletes’ withdrawal should be carried out in order to establish the real reasons.

There should be a report detailing the exact extent of these injuries and when they were sustained.

Unless the medical certificates are provided, claims that the quartet is injured will remain just that.

The country cannot afford to lose out of the possibility of four medals under dubious circumstances.

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