Spat between Sascoc and ASA set to intensify

2009-11-14 17:12

THE acrimonious spat ­between the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) and Athletics South ­Africa (ASA) will come to a head tomorrow.

Sascoc chief executive Tubby Reddy told City Press that they are sending Ray Mali to take over the ASA offices tomorrow despite the current athletics bosses digging in their heels and refusing to vacate their plush Houghton offices.

“We’ll go ahead with the processes. Mr Mali will go there on Monday. If they lock us out we’ll have to come back and exercise our opinion regarding the legalities,” Reddy said on Friday.

There has been an impasse between the two sports bodies since Sascoc suspended the Leonard Chuene-led ASA and appointed former cricket administrator Mali to administer the athletics body.

Chuene was suspended together with general manager Molatelo Malehopo, events manager Phiwe Mlangeni-Tsholetsane and Chuene’s personal assistant, Humile Bogatsu.

However, Chuene and his team have spurned the Olympic body by staying put in their offices.

“There are two processes that have been put in place regarding administration at ASA. One is to set an administration to guide the athletes. We don’t want the athletes to be prejudiced. Secondly, we want to set up the inquiry process on the suspended ASA board members,” said Reddy.

He reiterated his organisation’s stance on its decision to suspend ASA as an associate member, ­arguing that they had jurisdiction within the republic and over its ­members.

This week Sascoc issued a letter reiterating its position.

The letter, dated November 12, which City Press has, was addressed to the presidents of the provinces.

“We have consulted with our ­legal team regarding all the processes and we’ll go ahead. We have informed all the 17 regions.”
Sascoc wrote: “One of the functions of Mr Mali will be to take necessary steps to cause the election by ASA members of a new board, interim or otherwise, which board will exclude all those persons presently suspended.

“Please take note that ASA will remain suspended until such time as a new board is elected on the basis set out above,” read part of the letter signed by Sascoc president Gideon Sam.

Minister of Sports the Reverend Makhenkesi Stofile has released a statement backing Sascoc’s ­decision.

When City Press visited the ASA offices on Friday it was business as usual at the beleaguered federation.

This week they ­issued a news release announcing a provincial team to compete in the World Cross-Country Championships in Poland in March next year.

Sascoc, through Sam, said while ASA was suspended, athletes were still able to compete in competitions sanctioned by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

This is until the Olympic governing body has received a response from the IAAF, Sam said.

Attempts to get the IAAF to confirm receipt of the letter from Sascoc hit a snag when a woman, who refused to give her name, said: “The IAAF will not comment on anything to do with ASA or Caster Semenya.”

Malehopo refused to speak to City Press, but instead said Chuene had gone out. The latter ­also declined to comment
Chuene’s rivalry with Sascoc dates back many months when Sam Ramsamy and Moss Mashishi were still at Sascoc’s helm.

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