Athletics

IAAF to meet with ASA

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James Evans (Gallo)
James Evans (Gallo)
Johannesburg - An IAAF delegation will be in the country this weekend to find a solution to the impasse at Athletics South Africa, president James Evans has said on Wednesday.

"We have received confirmation from the International Association of Athletics Federations that they will be sending a delegation to South Africa this coming weekend," Evans said in a letter to the organisation's provincial and associate members.

"They wish to meet with the membership of ASA in a general meeting.

"The intention of the meeting is to find a way to a fair, peaceful and democratic solution to the present crisis in South African athletics."

Evans said the delegation would be led by Cheikh Thiare, the director of IAAF president Lamine Diack's executive office.

"We are aware of the short notice period, but everyone will understand the urgency of resolving this issue, especially while the delegation from the IAAF is present," Evans said.

"Members are encouraged to do everything possible to attend. The only item for discussion on the agenda is how to find a solution to the present crisis within the IAAF and ASA constitutions."

Thiare was initially expected in the country in October last year after the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) suspended ASA in June when its members ignored sanctions placed on its board.

The IAAF refused to recognise a Sascoc-appointed ASA administrator, Zola Majavu, who was tasked with solving the association's financial problems.

South Africa's International Olympic Committee member Sam Ramsamy was subsequently appointed by the IAAF to resolve the matter of ASA's suspension, along with Thiare.

In November, in the absence of Evans, an annual general meeting was held in Johannesburg, where the existing ASA board was dissolved and a seven-member interim board, led by Sello Mokoena, was appointed.

Mokoena said at the time it was a unanimous decision to sack the board, and that the AGM had been held in accordance with the ASA and IAAF constitution.

However, according to clause four of the IAAF constitution, an interim board would only be recognised if prior approval was given.

While the breakaway faction informed the IAAF that it planned on forming an ad hoc committee, it did not do so in consultation and with the approval of the athletics body.

Thiare's scheduled January trip was postponed owing to problems with his visa.

Sascoc subsequently lifted ASA's suspension after Thiare's visit did not materialise.

Evans said on Wednesday that while the IAAF would be giving guidance in finding a solution to the impasse, it depended on whether ASA members were willing to do so.

"No final decision can be taken unless everyone agrees to a solution," Evans said.

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