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chuene survives bid to unseat him

By Ramatsiyi Moholoa | Oct 05, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

ATHLETICS South Africa boss Leonard Chuene survived two attempts to dethrone him over the weekend.

ATHLETICS South Africa boss Leonard Chuene survived two attempts to dethrone him over the weekend.

Two small groups within the ASA tried to garner support to pass motions of no confidence in his under-siege leadership.

First, it was the much publicised Saturday meeting in Pretoria at the High Performance Centre called by former sprinter Geraldine Pillay.

Sowetan has learnt that the latest developments have also divided athletes along racial lines, with Africans supporting Chuene and Afrikaans-speakers saying he must go.

Later on Saturday, the Central Gauteng Athletics board met in Germiston, where a motion of no confidence in Chuene was passed but was withdrawn due to insufficient support.

The Pillay-led meeting took place a day after she called on Chuene to resign over lying about 800m gold medallist Caster Semenya's gender verification tests.

The meeting, attended by current and retired athletes, ended in chaos when some participants stormed out after accusing Pillay of being used by a "third force" to discredit Chuene.

Pillay said the meeting was disrupted by a group of "drunk individuals" .

But top runner Norman Dlomo presented a different version of events.

"Most athletes knew that the real aim was to pass a motion of no confidence in Chuene and had nothing to do with us as athletes," Dlomo said.

Multiple world championship and Olympic medallists Mbulaeni Mulaudzi and Khotso Mokoena support Chuene, saying it is wrong of people to blame him for the Semenya tests.

"It's sad how we allow ourselves to be used by officials who want Leonard Chuene out," said a top athlete who declined to be named.

Chuene also has the support of the ANC Youth League, whose president Julius Malema has criticised Nedbank for withdrawing from the ASA.

The bank announced on Friday that it would continue to support the Comrades Marathon.


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