Sascoc lift Athletics SA’s suspension

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Johannesburg – The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) has withdrawn Athletics South Africa’s suspension to allow athletes to compete at the Commonwealth Games in July and August.

But matters are far from rosy as Sascoc and Athletics SA continue to bicker over who the rightful leaders of the athletics body are.

Last year, Athletics SA’s leadership – headed up by President James Evans – was ousted and replaced by an interim board, but the IAAF allegedly refuses to recognise the new board.

Chairman of the interim board, Sello Mokoena, has found himself isolated.

In the wake of the power struggles at ASA, Sascoc suspended the body’s membership from the Olympic body, but the move had a negative effect on the athletes and very little effect, it would seem, on the administrators.

Sascoc have asked the IAAF to intervene, but getting someone from the world body to travel to South Africa has proven to be a challenge.

This has left Sascoc frustrated, while the ousted Evans appears to be in contact with the IAAF.

“We have exercised patience and afforded the IAAF sufficient time, space and co-operation in the hope that they will put measures in place to resolve the leadership crisis in Athletics South Africa (ASA),” Sascoc said in a statement on Wednesday.

The IAAF last year appointed South Africa’s International Olympic Committee member, Sam Ramsamy, and his IOC colleague, Cheikh Thiare, as mediators in the conflict between Sascoc and ASA, but nothing has been done yet.

Thiare cancelled a meeting in South Africa due to illness and a second meeting, according to the old ASA leadership, was not possible to due to issues with a visa.

“To date the IAAF has not responded to any communique from Sello Mokoena. However, via media reports, James Evans has asserted that the IAAF only recognises his discredited minority members. In fact James Evans has clearly stated that he is in touch with the IAAF. The question bears asking, who is the IAAF recognising, ASA or James Evans?” – IOL



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