More athletics chaos | SASCOC - SASCOC

More athletics chaos

A meeting for athletes to discuss the poor state of the sport in the country has had to be called off in Pretoria on Saturday.

Sapa reported that a group of “drunk” individuals caused sufficient disruption for organisers being forced to call it off.

Double Commonwealth bronze medallist sprinter Geraldine Pillay, who organised the meeting to discuss the poor state of the sport in the country, said she suspected Athletics South Africa (ASA) of causing the disruption.

“We could not resolve anything because the meeting was disrupted by a group of individuals who arrived drunk,” Pillay said.

“But we had enough response from the athletes to know that we should take this forward. We will definitely do this again.

“Unfortunately certain individuals, who are not even athletes or former athletes, don’t seem to care enough about the sport and misinterpreted what the meeting was about.

“I have been told that ASA mobilised these people to disrupt the meeting.”

While others are calling for ASA president Leonard Chuene’s head for his mishandling of the Caster Semenya gender controversy, Pillay said the meeting had never been about Chuene or Semenya.

“This meeting was not about whether Leonard should stay or go, and it wasn’t about Caster,” Pillay said.
“This was supposed to be an open platform for athletes to voice their concerns about what is happening in the sport.

“Nedbank said it withdrew its sponsorship of road running this week because of mismanagement at events organised by ASA, and we can’t afford that.

“We are going to appoint an athletes’ commission in the interim to give us a voice, but we will definitely hold this meeting again soon.”


  1. Ntsokolo Skweyiya

    October 5, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    It is very dissapointing people like Geraldine Pillay doesn’t understand who is an athletes and not and start by labelling others as drunk she is drunk two because they where asked questions and they fail to answer those questions and those question where very simple questions

    Ntsokolo Skweyiya

  2. Arnaud Malherbe

    October 9, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    Dear Mr Skweyiya,

    I will attempt to answer your questions below, but the reason the questions weren’t answered at the meeting is because you and Mr Mokganyetsi kept shouting at me and didn’t give me the opportunity to actually answer your questions before all of you stormed out.

    Here are the answers to the questions:
    1. It is the responsibility of the chairperson of the athletes’ commission to organise meetings of this nature. Hendrik Mokganyetsi is the chairperson of the athletes commission and never did anything. That is why the other commission members took it upon themselves to organise this meeting.

    Also, in light of recent events it is important that the athletes have a say along with everyone else. It is after all their future at stake.

    2. The purpose of the meeting was clearly stated at the outset and also in the invitations to the meeting. The people who disrupted the meeting arrived almost two hours late to the meeting, so wasn’t present when this purpose was stated, which is to give the athletes a voice in light of the recent situation as well any other issues they may feel is pertinent. This would give members of the athletes commission a mandate to carry forward to ASA. It is a pity that the chairperson of the athletes’ commission doesn’t seem to care what his athletes think and tried to disrupt the meeting at every turn.

    3. Members of the athletes commission who wanted a mandate from their athletes.

    4. Of course they did.

    5. I don’t understand this question. What other athletes were not allowed?

    Now, I have a few questions myself:
    1. Why did you arrive late for the meeting?
    2. Who exactly are you and what athletic events do you participate in?
    3. Why did you feel the need to disrupt which was, until then, an open and honest discussion?
    4. Why didn’t you allow an opportunity for your questions to be answered during the meeting?
    5. Why were there pre-prepared placards lying on the ground outside the auditorium, even before the meeting? Was it always the intention to storm out and wave propdaganda slogans?
    6. Why did you want to disrupt a meeting that was for the athletes? Don’t you care about the athletes issues?

    Hendrik Mokganyetsi is also welcome to answer the above.

    Arnaud Malherbe

  3. concerned

    October 11, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    Dear Arnuard

    I think it was great of you, Geraldine, Rubin Ramolefi and the other athletes to have called the meeting, but I am afraid that the mistake you guys made was not to do it through this Mr Mokganyetsi. You guys should call another meeting, Ask him to chair the meeting and the athletes must decide if they want him to lead and represent them.

    At that meeting, the athletes must elect representative to serve on the ASA commission. In fact I don’t know how you guys got onto the commission.

    I am told by somebody that was at the ASA meeting that you supported Leonard Chuene?

  4. Arnaud Malherbe

    October 26, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    The athletes commission, as it currently stands, was appointed by the ASA board.

    This is, in fact, against ASA’s own constitution, where it says the commission must be elected. Unfortunately, the athletes themselves do not have much say in this election as it is the members (provinces etc) who are able to cast votes.

    So, the athletes will not be able to elect representatives at such a meeting. While the commission stands as it does currently, I will do my utmost to represent the athletes fairly, but I would welcome a properly elected commission, whether I am part of it or not.

    At the ASA SGM on 24 September, I was one of two people who raised the actual issue that needed to be discussed – whether Mr Chuene lied or not and whether those lies were justified. This was glossed over and not discussed.

    I did support the fact that he let Caster Semenya run in Berlin. To me, it is like a doping test – you run and get tested afterwards. If you are found to be guilty, the results are amended. To date, there have been no test results on Caster released and hence, nothing to prevent her from running.

    Subsequent information, though, especially that from Dr Harold Adams, has changed my view somewhat. It seems that Caster was not, and probably still isn’t, fully aware of her medical results. She should have been given the opportunity to decide, based on proper results, whether she wanted to compete or not. If she chose to withdraw, this should have been respected. If she chose to run, it should have been allowed, but she would’ve had to take the consequences.

    It now seems she was never given the choice or the information needed to make the choice. This is unacceptable. Athletes need to be in control of their own destiny.

    What I never supported was the fact that this was denied by Mr Chuene, while he knew about it all along. He never gave the ASA council, the ultimate decision making body in ASA, the full information. How were they supposed to make a decision? He could’ve taken other routes that would’ve spared Caster severe anguish and torment.

    This has also gone way beyond that. Caster’s issue has merely served to expose the general problems in athletics that have existed for years.


  5. Concerned

    October 30, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Dear Arnaud

    Good relpy, but the ANC TASK Team said it. ASA lied to the Nation, Semenya, and the President of South Africa.

    They must account.

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