Sam: IAAF won't co-operate

Gideon Sam (Gallo Images)
Gideon Sam (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) president Gideon Sam says the sporting body may have to take stern action if it does not get the desired co-operation from the IAAF to resolve the stand-off with Athletics SA (ASA).

“I spoke to the Minister of Sport (Fikile Mbalula) and it is not long before we put our foot down -- whether the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) likes it or not,” Sam said at TuksSport’s annual awards evening in Pretoria on Friday evening.

“We gave them (the IAAF) an opportunity. We said 'send your man to come to South Africa and talk to us' and he did not pitch.”

At the end of June, South Africa's Olympic governing body suspended ASA after its members ignored sanctions placed on its board.

Sascoc said it had suspended ASA in terms of Clause 9.3 of its Articles of Association which gave it the power to "suspend, fine and terminate" the membership of any federation which infringed the Sascoc constitution or brought the organisation into disrepute.

However, earlier in June, the IAAF reaffirmed its support for the elected ASA board members, led by president James Evans.

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

Majavu had since vacated the post, little more than two months after he was appointed by Sascoc.

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 Cheikh Thiare, the executive assistant to the world body's president Lamine Diack.

Sam said Ramsamy had been in discussions with the world athletics body and Thiare was scheduled to have arrived in South African last Monday, but failed to do so without giving a reason.

“We were not given any reason for that, so Dr Sam Ramsamy is coming back from Glasgow on Sunday and I said 'Chief you have to start telling Lamine Diack that we are running out of patience now',” Sam said.

“He was working with them up to the point where we expected this gentleman on Monday and he didn’t pitch.

"He is going to look into it and hopefully he will take this further.”

Meanwhile, Sam said revelations this week that the SA Football Association (Safa) were set to lose two key sponsorships should serve as a warning to all federations.

German sportswear company Puma confirmed it had terminated its technical and licensed partnership with Safa a day after Absa announced it would not renew its sponsorship with soccer's national body.

“It is a wake-up call for all of the federations. They must understand they should not take their sponsorships for granted.

“They (sponsors) are not going to take the rubbish we put to them -- you have to put your best foot forward.

“I spoke to Danny (Jordaan) this morning and I said ‘That is how it goes and you have to go prove yourself and convince the sponsors there is a reason for them to come back’.”

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