Wayde responds to SBW picture-gate

Wayde van Niekerk (Getty Images)
Wayde van Niekerk (Getty Images)

Cape Town - South African sprinter Wayde van Niekerk has responded after news broke that he had a disagreement with SASCOC CEO Tubby Reddy after posing in a picture with All Blacks rugby star Sonny Bill Williams at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Van Niekerk, who won gold in the men’s 400m race in a world record time, had earlier posed in a picture alongside Williams, who represented New Zealand in the sevens rugby event.

Williams shared the picture on Twitter, while Van Niekerk retweeted it and replied:

However, according Rapport, Reddy was not happy when he saw the picture.
Several of Van Niekerk’s team-mates confirmed to the Afrikaans newspaper that Reddy was “furious” after seeing Van Niekerk had posed in the picture with the logo of his sponsors, adidas, emblazoned on his shirt.

“Tubby had harsh words with him and ordered him to remove the photo off Twitter,” one of Van Niekerk’s team-mates said.

“He (Van Niekerk) was not fazed and refused. We’re not allowed to pose on social media in clothes not provided by SASCOC or the IOC (International Olympic Committee).”

Van Niekerk on Tuesday hit back, saying they only received their kit from SASCOC later that night and that he was in awe of taking a picture with Williams.

When contacted by Rapport, Reddy denied the altercation with Van Niekerk, but did state: “I do however know that shortly before he won his medal he was addressed because he was wearing adidas clothes. Wayde broke the rules, because for the duration of the Games he belongs to the South African team and not his sponsors adidas. The guys who sponsor the Games pay a lot and then other companies come and take chances. I’m not on social media. I believe it violates your privacy."
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