JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 14, James Evans (Pres. of ASA) during the launch of the 2012 Yellow Pages Series at EXP Offices on February 14, 2012 in Johannesburg, South Africa Photo by Duif du Toit / Gallo Images

Johannesburg – Athletics SA (ASA) hoped to fill the vacant chief executive position before the end of January 2013, president James Evans said on Monday.

“It will be very difficult for us to get anybody in by the beginning of January but we will try,” Evans said.

“We are looking at the middle of November to do interviews.”

This follows the sacking of former CEO Frik Vermaak last month, after he was found guilty, in a disciplinary hearing, of gross misconduct, gross dishonesty and poor work performance.

Vermaak had indicated he would challenge the verdict at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration.

“I don't know if he's done anything yet but we will end up with a job description and advertise the position again,” said Evans.

“The ideal would be to say January (to fill the position) so I hope it will be feasible.”

Vermaak's dismissal came almost a year after his appointment, following a difficult three-year period for the athletics body.

Meanwhile, Evans said ASA were in advance stage of negotiating a new sponsorship deal for track and field athletics after their partnership with Yellow Pages ended in May.

“We are in the process of speaking to people and hopefully we can make an announcement in the next week or so about the commercial partner,” he said.

Yellow Pages' withdrawal, after almost five years of involvement in domestic athletics, was seen as a massive blow to the sport.

ASA's contract with public broadcaster, the SABC, also expired at the end of March.

Evans, however, said he was hopeful ASA would soon conclude a new broadcasting agreement. – Sapa