Puma SA sets the record straight on Athletix Grand Prix meeting

Caster Semenya cometes in the women senior 1000m at the Athletix Grand Prix Athletics Series at Tuks Stadium, Pretoria on 08 March 2018.
Caster Semenya cometes in the women senior 1000m at the Athletix Grand Prix Athletics Series at Tuks Stadium, Pretoria on 08 March 2018.
Image: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Puma South Africa have set the record straight and said they had nothing to do with the decision that saw Athletics South Africa (ASA) officials at the Athletix Grand Prix meeting force some of the athletes to cover up their kit sponsors’ logos in Pretoria last week.

Top international athletes Justin Gatlin‚ Caster Semenya and Akani Simbine‚ among others‚ competed with tape covering their logos at the sold-out event that was held at the University of Pretoria.

"There is no truth to media reports that PUMA was involved in trying to force athletes wearing rival brands to cover their logos at the Liquid Telecom Athletix Grand Prix Series at Tuks Stadium on March 8‚ 2018 in Pretoria‚" Puma said in a statement.

“Puma is a proud sponsor of athletics in South Africa and on various levels globally.

"We are well aware of the rules and abide by them at all levels and as such would not request athletes or associates to enforce a covering up of logos.

"Not least because this would then impact us in other events where we are not the sponsor and also as it is in clear contravention of the rules.”

ASA last week released a statement where they promised to take action after admitting to the mistake made by their officials.

“ASA has already started with remedial action by calling for an emergency meeting with members of the technical committee to bring to their attention the error that has been made‚" read the ASA statement.

“Necessary steps will be taken to ensure that such errors are not repeated again.

"ASA apologises for the inconvenience that was caused to the athletes‚ the sponsors‚ the representatives and Stillwater Sports.

"Concealing logos also violated ASA’s own rule 24‚ which‚ among other things‚ forbids “unauthorised marketing.”

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