Sascoc’s ‘arrogance’ floors Olympic boxers

2013-08-18 14:00

The battle between the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) and global sports bodies has once more dealt a major blow to local athletes.

Last Sunday, the custodian of Olympic-style boxing, the International Amateur Boxing Organisation (Aiba), took a harsh stance and imposed a provisional suspension on the South African National Boxing Organisation (Sanabo).

This followed months of back-and-forth wrangling between Sascoc and Aiba.

The suspension from the international body means that “no (South African) officials, boxers or coaches shall be entitled to participate in any Aiba/Confederation Competition at any level”, according to a letter sent by Aiba to Sascoc president Gideon Sam.

There are four international tournaments under the Aiba banner, including the Aiba World Boxing Championships coming up in the next two months, and if the suspension remains in place, South African fighters will miss out.

The suspension is also set to affect South African boxers’ preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The ban was a result of Sascoc dragging its feet to supply documentation contradicting claims that it interfered and tampered with the Sanabo election results last year.

“The tragedy is that it is the boxers who are now going to suffer as they have been suspended from all international competitions,” said a source from Sanabo’s previous administration who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The source added that all this was because of “Sascoc’s continued arrogant stance that new elections will not be held.”

In May, Aiba ordered Sascoc to convene new elections by August 10, to no avail.

When asked for comment, Sam said they had sent the requested documents to Aiba.

“Maybe their letter and the documents crossed each other in the way,” he said. “We hope they reconsider the suspension once they’ve gone through the documents.”

Another source said: “This is a disgrace. It is the first time Sanabo has been suspended.

We should hang our heads in shame.”

Sanabo president Andile Mofu said they were in the midst of preparing boxers for international competitions and the suspension has presented a major setback.

He said: “The unfortunate has happened but we will wait to hear from Aiba because I understand Sascoc has provided them everything they wanted.”

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