ASA tries to sort out Ramaala dispute

AFTER Hendrick Ramaala's shock withdrawal from the World Championships, Athletics South Africa plans to have an urgent meeting with the Olympic Committee to address the financial dispute with the popular runner.

AFTER Hendrick Ramaala's shock withdrawal from the World Championships, Athletics South Africa plans to have an urgent meeting with the Olympic Committee to address the financial dispute with the popular runner.

Ramaala announced he won't represent South Africa until Sascoc top brass deliver on their agreement to reimburse him for financial loses incurred in his preparations for the Beijing Olympics.

Ramaala, 37, was included in ASA's marathon team to the World Championships in Germany in August.

Other athletes have opted to remain silent on the matter despite being owed thousands of rands, but Ramaala said it was about time sports officials were confronted.

Sowetan has learnt that several top track and field athletes were also affected by the problem, but they could not be reached for comment.

Molatelo Malehopo, ASA general manager, said the sooner the dispute between the athletes and Sascoc was resolved, the better for athletics.

"We find ourselves caught in the middle of a crossfire between the athletes and Sascoc on a matter that was initiated by Sascoc to undermine ASA," he said.

"It is uncalled for and dubious that Sascoc met our athletes outside of the federation. We were not aware of the promises until they were brought to our attention by the athletes.

"Our president [Leonard Chuene] has brought this matter to the attention of the Sascoc president [Gideon Sam] to be addressed.

"This matter needs to be resolved amicably with the concerned athletes as it is destabilising our sport."

Sam has promised to meet ASA and their athletes representative, Hendrick Mokganyetsi to resolve the issue.

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