Johannesburg – South Africa's Olympic governing body has been called on by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to explain the suspension of the Athletics SA (ASA) board.

In a letter to SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) CEO Tubby Reddy last week, Cheikh Thiare, director of the executive office of the IAAF president, said Sascoc had failed to inform the international athletics body that all 11 ASA board members had been suspended.

“Such information relating to the status of our national member federation in South Africa is, as you can imagine, of considerable concern to the IAAF,” Thiare told Reddy.

“We are surprised that you did not see fit to notify us of the position directly.”

Thiare said the IAAF wanted copies of the Sascoc board resolution on April 12 and the minutes of the Sascoc general assembly on April 13.

“We would also ask you to provide us with a clear statement of the grounds that Sascoc considered it had to take the action that it did, together with all supporting documents and evidence.”

Earlier last week, four of ASA's 17 provinces wrote to ASA administrator Zola Majavu, requesting that an SGM be convened, in an effort to regain control of the sport.

According to one of the suspended ASA board members, who would not be named, at least five other provinces had verbally committed to joining the call. Written requests from six provinces would be sufficient to convene an SGM.

The previous ASA SGM, scheduled to be held in Cape Town in April, which was to have dealt with the impeachment of ASA president James Evans, was called off after Sascoc suspended the federation's board for the second time in less than four years.

Evans had been engaged in a long-running public spat with ASA vice-president Hendrick Ramaala, who led the calls for the impeachment of the federation's president.

Majavu was appointed as the interim ASA administrator last month, with Sascoc giving him 120 days to assist the embattled federation in clearing up its mounting debt.

And while Majavu said a clause had been included in his contract to extend the length of his stay at ASA, if needed, Thiare said the IAAF did not recognise the interim administrator, as he was not an elected official.

The IAAF would not reveal its position on the suspensions of the board members until Sascoc had responded to the letter.

“We nonetheless draw to your attention at this stage the provisions of article 4.1 of the IAAF constitution that make it clear that the IAAF only recognises national governing bodies that have been democratically elected in accordance with their constitutions,” Thiare told Reddy.

According to article 4.1 of the constitution: “A national governing body (including its executive body) which has not been so elected, even on an interim basis, shall not be recognised by the IAAF.”

Reddy was unavailable for comment. – Sapa