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ASA says Soweto Marathon is not cancelled
- Updated: September 11, 2013
Embattled Athletics South Africa have hit back at allegations that the popular annual Soweto Marathon has been cancelled.
Reports this week claimed that the Soweto Marathon Trust had cancelled the Soweto Marathon and made several allegations against Athletics South Africa.
ASA released a statement on Tuesday denying that the race has been cancelled. “It must be noted that no evidence has been provided to Athletics South Africa that there is a registered trust by the name of the Soweto Marathon Trust, nor that anyone has been duly registered as trustees by the relevant authorities.
“Unlike events such as the Comrades Marathon Association, which is a member of KwaZulu-Natal Athletics and organises a marathon by the same name, and the Two Oceans Marathon Association NPC, which is similarly an associate member of Western Province Athletics, there is no evidence available to Athletics South Africa that any grouping calling themselves the Soweto Marathon Trust is a member of any of Athletics South Africa’s affiliates.
“As such it cannot, in terms of the rules of the sport, organise an athletics event such as a marathon and therefore cannot cancel one.
As things stand, the Soweto Marathon has not been cancelled. It needs to be added that all broadcast rights to athletics events in South Africa are owned by Athletics South Africa. This is enshrined in the Athletics South Africa constitution, and has been for many years, and as such all members are bound by the provision and are aware of it when they join. This is nothing new. None of the other events in South Africa have claimed broadcast rights fees. The broadcast rights fees are used for running the federation and sending teams to international competitions.
“There is no way that Athletics South Africa will prejudice our athletes’ rights to attend those competitions in favour of paying over money to an unregistered and unaudited group of individuals who are not accountable to the sport.
“It is instructive that the grouping calling themselves the Soweto Marathon Trust has waited until very late in the day to claim they could not find a sponsor for the marathon. Even though they claim to have cancelled the race, they have not provided any evidence that they have taken any steps at all to organise the race so far, other than to demand money.
“Athletics South Africa will continue to engage with all legitimate stakeholders to investigate continuing with the Soweto Marathon in 2013. Any announcements about the future of the race will accordingly come from the federation and not individuals claiming rights to the race, which they do not have.”