Olympic body accused of ASA vendetta

PARLIAMENT has summoned the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee to Cape Town for an explanation of the suspension of Athletics South Africa.

PARLIAMENT has summoned the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee to Cape Town for an explanation of the suspension of Athletics South Africa.

Sascoc will brief politicians on November 17 on their decision to suspend the ASA, its president Leonard Chuene, deputy Kakata Maponyane and certain ASA staff members.

ASA affiliates accused Sascoc of using the Caster Semenya gender-verification tests saga to revive their long-held plot to remove the embattled ASA boss from the federation.

Sascoc caused a storm last Thursday when it suspended Chuene and the entire ASA over its handling of the Semenya tests.

ASA has instructed top lawyer Monty Hacker to challenge its suspension, which was applauded by Makhenkesi Stofile, the minister of sport and recreation.

The athletics administrators said the Olympic body "does not have the authority to suspend Chuene and ASA", adding that Sascoc also must stop dealing directly with ASA provinces.

Gauteng North Athletics vice-president John Mathane said: "Sascoc took an unpopular decision without approaching the board of ASA.

"They were supposed to have approached the board with their recommendations.

"It is the council that has the power to suspend the president and the board, not Sascoc."

Said Mpumalanga Athletics president Ben Makola: "Sascoc has a problem of its own, which they should address as a matter of urgency. They are against transformation."

Eastern Cape athletics boss John Ncinane said: "The appointment of Ray Mali by Sascoc as the interim leader of ASA is a recipe for disaster.

"Ray is a cricket leader, there is no transformation in cricket. There is a hidden agenda because athletics is doing well in transformation and our athletes are also winning medals.

"There are problems in soccer after the Safa elections but Sascoc is not intervening. Sascoc and the department of sport and recreation undermine athletics because it is run mainly by black people."

Sascoc president Gideon Sam said they suspended ASA in the best interests of the sport, and that there were no hidden agendas.

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