IAAF to settle Sascoc-ASA impasse

2014-01-19 14:00

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Time for athletics body to move on.

The president of the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc), Gideon Sam, says next week’s visit by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) should settle the impasse at Athletics SA (ASA) once and for all.

IAAF delegate Cheikh Thiaré – who is the director of IAAF president Lamine Diack’s executive office – is set to meet Sam Ramsamy, South Africa’s representative at the International Olympic Committee, to find a way to get to the bottom of the conflict between ASA and Sascoc.

“Ramsamy has all the documents of the process and he will meet Thiaré on January 24,” Sam told City Press.

He said that Sascoc considers ASA to be one of its medal certainties at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, in August.

Sam also hinted that a positive outcome at the talks may result in the withdrawal of ASA’s suspension from Sascoc.

He added: “In terms of where we are, the IAAF must adjudicate so that we can move forward with our sport. Given athletics’ potential, we expect a good medal count [from track and field] in Glasgow.”

The long-standing rift between Sascoc and ASA worsened after Sascoc suspended the athletics body’s membership in June last year.

The Olympic governing body had appointed erstwhile Premier Soccer League prosecutor Zola Majavu as ASA’s administrator in April.

In retaliation, the IAAF launched a stinging attack on Sascoc, saying it did not recognise Majavu. He was forced to leave the beleaguered ASA before completing his 120-day mandated term.

At the time, Thiaré sent a strongly worded letter to Sascoc saying that the IAAF only recognised the ASA board that was elected in 2012.

Last month, the IAAF made a similar declaration to ASA’s staff, saying they recognised James Evans as president and not the interim board.

The dispute between Evans and the seven-member interim committee rages on.

The seven, led by KwaZulu-Natal Athletics president Sello Mokoena, ousted Evans and his board at a special annual general meeting in November.

Sascoc and the sports department last week gave the ad hoc committee the nod, saying that the process that dissolved Evans’ board appeared to be valid.

Evans, on the other hand, has elevated the matter to arbitration.

Efforts to get comment from the IAAF were in vain – its media office did not respond to telephonic and emailed interview requests from City Press.

Key problems at ASA – and solutions

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