Court rules in SASCOC’s favour in Shushu case
Team South Africa for the Olympic Games in London later this month remains unaltered after an unsuccessful attempt by Gauteng weightlifter Greg Shushu to be included in the team.
The South Gauteng High Court ruled on Saturday 7 July that Olympic governing body SASCOC had acted within their mandated authority regarding selection policy criteria by not including Shushu in the team and dismissed his bid to be included in the team before Monday’s final submission of sport entry’s cut-off date.
SASCOC had received legal papers from Shushu’s lawyers on Thursday, 5 July in which an urgent court appeal was sought. This was done with the support of Gauteng weightlifting.
SASCOC duly sought legal advice and counsel and SASCOC CEO Mr Tubby Reddy then signed the answering affidavit on Friday evening, 6 July.
The matter was duly heard by the South Gauteng High Court on Saturday morning, 7 July, adjudicated on, and Shushu’s application was dismissed with costs.
Explaining SASCOC’s decision SASCOC CEO Mr Tubby Reddy said: “There is nothing sinister about this matter. The Olympic selection policy has been on our website for over a year.
“The Continental qualification was a ‘slot’ qualification and there were four athletes eligible for this slot. Continental qualification is by no means an automatic guarantee of selection in all sporting codes.
“The South African Weightlifting Federation knew that Greg would not have been eligible when they submitted his name as the policy clearly stated that should Continental qualification be considered, the athlete must be 2016 potential. As the National Federation they are responsible for keeping their athletes informed about selection policies at all times.
“It grieves us that the athlete is now liable for all legal costs. What is also extremely frustrating is that the public, media, and social media are often quick to get involved in issues such as these without the full facts and background being at their disposal. It’s all very well showing support and getting involved in robust debate, but, as is the case now, the athlete is liable for the costs and when it comes to the crunch who is going to help him pay this now?
“Athletes, coaches and members of Provincial and National Federations should at all times be aware of selection criteria.”
As Olympic governing body, SASCOC have the final decision when it comes to selection, despite working hand in hand with the various National Federations.
The South African Olympic Team was announced on 6 June included just one lifter, Jean Greeff in the 94-kilogram category who satisfied the selection criteria.