Sports minister Nathi Mthethwa gave an incorrect account of the dispute involving the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport (Saids), Bodybuilding SA and the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc), according to two former senior Sascoc executives.
Mthethwa had said in a written reply to questions in parliament that Saids had fined the bodybuilding federation R300,000 after a high number of athletes had tested positive for drugs. “The matter was escalated to Sascoc in 2019. The then acting CEO refused to act against the federation,” Mthethwa said.
Kaya Majeke, who served on both the Bodybuilding SA and Sascoc executives at the time, hit back at the TimesLIVE article, saying he felt unfairly implicated and added that the minister had been “ill-advised on the issue”.
Bodybuilding SA had disputed “the legality of the fine ... on account of unlawful conduct on the part of a few of its members”, he added.
Ravi Govender, one of two acting CEOs at Sascoc during 2019, also weighed in, saying his office had not stalled on the issue and added that the matter had been referred to Sascoc’s judicial body and later handed over to the department of sport, arts and culture (DSAC).
Govender, who took over as acting CEO after Patience Shikwambana, said the process had started before he stepped into the role around August 2019.
He said Shikwambana had already written to Bodybuilding SA, advising they would be fined — R150,000 for doping transgressions in 2017 and another R150,000 for further drug transgressions in 2018. She told the sports body it would be suspended for three months, he added.
Govender said Shikwambana’s letter to Bodybuilding SA had also stated that the suspension would be discussed at the Sascoc council meeting scheduled for June 8 2019.
The Sascoc board, however, decided its judicial body would deal with the matter.