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Sepeng's foundation irks ASA

By unknown | Nov 17, 2006 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

A dark cloud is hanging over the launch of the Hezekiel Sepeng Sports Foundation scheduled for Potchefstroom today.

The foundation is formed by disgraced Atlanta Olympics 800m silver medallist and South African record-holder Hezekiel "Tokkie" Sepeng.

Organisers told Sowetan the launch would go ahead though Sepeng is still serving a two-year ban from all athletics activities for a doping offence.

This was after an out-of-competition test by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) last year where his urine sample was found to contain norandrosterone.

The ban expires in May next year.

Athletics South Africa yesterday distanced itself from the foundation, arguing that Sepeng was not allowed to be involved in any athletics activity.

"We find his behaviour unacceptable because he is still serving a two-year ban," said Leonard Chuene, ASA president, from Monaco.

"I wonder who is behind the whole foundation. It is clear that Hezekiel is wrongly advised. I would advise him to stop it until his ban has expired."

People invited to the launch are urged to confirm attendance by phoning Oupa Maruping and Isaac Skweyiya, general manager of Athletics Central North West.

But Skweyiya said he was not involved in the project, as did the ACNW. Maruping is the coordinator of the foundation.

"Hezekiel is not involved in the whole thing. I'm the one who is running the show because Hezekiel is still serving a suspension," said Maruping.

"The process of starting the foundation began at the beginning of the year, when we approached the office of the North West MEC for sports.

"The municipality of Potchefstroom and Athletics Central North West are also involved in the project, which is aimed at developing the sport."

Maruping is a top 800m athlete who returned to South Africa in November last year after spending four years in the United States, where he furthered his studies.

Sepeng could not be reached for comment.


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