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Athletics progress

South Africa’s Olympic governing body, SASCOC, and the Athletics SA Interim Board, headed by veteran administrator Ray Mali, have made strong progress in taking athletics forward with the release on Wednesday of some important developments.

SASCOC originally suspended Athletics South Africa as a member of SASCOC on 6 November 2009. The suspension of ASA came a day after the suspension of ASA president Leonard Chuene and the board of ASA over their handling of women’s 800m world champion, Caster Semenya.

Mali assumed office on 16 November and on 21 November he announced the formation of a nine-strong interim body to oversee the running of athletics.

There had been widespread condemnation of the manner in which Semenya, had been treated in the wake of her Berlin performance. Reports suggested that she had been subjected to a gender test by ASA before going to the world championships. The global athletics governing association, the IAAF, is now dealing exclusively with the Semenya saga and are still busy analysing the results of the test.

At the SASCOC Board meeting last month (26 January) it was unanimously decided that a forensic audit needed to be commissioned under the eye of Deloitte and Touche. This resolution was supported and endorsed unanimously by the Interim Board of ASA.

The audit has potentially far-reaching implications.

In explaining the current situation, the chief executive officer of SASCOC, Tubby Reddy, said: ÔÇ£We understand that there have been accusations that perhaps we haven’t dealt with things in a speedy manner. However, we have been working tirelessly behind the scenes and due process has been followed.

ÔÇ£The process has been long and frustrating, for various reasons, including the fact that we had a down period during the festive season.

ÔÇ£We are now in the position to announce that:
1) On taking office at Athletics SA, Mr Ray Mali found a number of shredding machines which was used to shred documentation.
2) Many files on computers and the server have been deleted and destroyed by ASA personnel.
3) Serious concerns have been raised on the finances of the organisation.

ÔÇ£Therefore while Deloitte and Touche conduct the forensic audit into the finances and administration of ASA, Advocate Collins will continue to develop the charge sheets on each of the suspended individuals and continue with the disciplinary hearings which are targeted for mid-March onwards,ÔÇØ Reddy said in a statement on behalf of SASCOC.

He added: ÔÇ£When the forensic audit process is completed if a commission of enquiry or criminal charges are necessary this will evolve at that stage.ÔÇØ

The revelation that there is a forensic audit currently being conducted, as well as that shredding machines were used by the previous Athletics SA administration to shred documents show the difficulties that SASCOC and the Interim ASA Board have had to deal with. However, it also highlights how much progress has been made in paving the way forward.

Athletics has won the most medals (9) of any code since South Africa returned to the Olympic fold at Barcelona in 1992, and the haul includes Josia Thugwane’s gold in 1996. It also provided the only medal (Khotso Mokoena) from the 2008 Games in Beijing.

SASCOC president, Gideon Sam, has been transparent in what he expects from South Africa at the London 2012 Games. ÔÇ£We are serious about attaining 12 medals, and we believe it’s an ambitious, but reachable target. However, we need all our sports to be strong, and we expect athletics to be able to play its part in winning medals.ÔÇØ

Given the manner in which SASCOC and the Interim ASA Board have been progressing, and in light of today’s revelations, it suggests that things are on the right track.


3 comments
concerned
concerned

Dear SASCOC BOSSES I am concerned by the fact that you are making such information public before going to a DC or a criminal court for the matter. You are in fact preparing these guys (The Landrover owners). An important aspect to watch is the fact that some of the current office staff are/may be related to Chuene and or the suspended crew. That needs to be investigated, because while they are working, they may fish for important imformation and leak to the folk. Remember, it is alledged that most of these employees were just employed without the positions being advertised.

run FAN
run FAN

this is fabulous news!! well done Sascoc. good luck in getting to the bottom of everything. it now looks like Chuene and his cronies have a lot more to answer. good riddance!!

Athlete
Athlete

There is a major concern between the athletes that prize monies outstanding from the Soweto Marathon (1 November 2009) are still outstanding from ASA. Is there any possibility that this issue will be resolved soon. Several of the prize winners are / were students that were relying on these monies for the start of the 2010 Academic year.