Athletics 'better under Chuene'

VETERAN Northern Cape athletics administrator Loretta Marthinus threw the cat among the pigeons when she said yesterday that "life was much better for athletics under Leonard Chuene".

VETERAN Northern Cape athletics administrator Loretta Marthinus threw the cat among the pigeons when she said yesterday that "life was much better for athletics under Leonard Chuene".

Marthinus, who is the president of Athletics Griqualand West, has accused the Athletics South Africa interim board of neglecting athletics development.

"Ever since the suspension of Leonard Chuene as ASA president by Sascoc in November, there have been problems at ASA and real development appears not to be part of their vocabulary," said an angry Marthinus yesterday.

She also complained that the current ASA committee was not funding the provinces to help them with development.

"It is said that we are no longer getting funds as we used to under the leadership of Chuene. Development projects have been suspended and this is unfortunate for athletics in the country. It is bad.

"For me it is like taking away parents who were supporting the children only to let them starve for good. This is killing the sport.

"I have been talking to Ray Mali (ASA's interim administrator) and his deputy Richard Stander but they keep on telling me the federation does not have money.

"We have made several applications to the National Lottery Board for funding without success. It seems to us that if you don't have friends in the National Lottery Board you will also be ignored."

Chuene and his board were suspended by Sascoc after their handling of the Caster Semenya gender-verification tests.

Northern Cape is made up of two ASA provinces - Griqualand West and South Cape West.

"Our athletes can't even go to the national championships because there is no money," Marthinus said.

"The provincial government is helping us prepare athletes.

"Richard has since suggested the two provinces in Northern Cape must merge, for me it does not make sense because the merger is too expensive.

"If they are saying to us we should merge, how is it going to help us because ASA does not have money."

Stander said: "ASA is in serious financial trouble, you can phone Athletics Transkei, we can't help them.

"We can't even send our teams to international events."

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