ASA regains its control

2010-09-04 15:43

Johannesburg - Athletics South Africa (ASA) will regain control of the sport on September 18 when elections are held for a new board at a special general meeting.

The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) told the federation’s provincial members on Saturday that elections would be held for seven vacant board posts to replace suspended executives who have resigned.

The seats of the suspended board members who have not resigned, including president Leonard Chuene, will remain vacant and will be “dealt with by the new ASA board,” according to SASCOC.

The Olympic governing body have been in control of the federation since November last year when Chuene and his entire executive were suspended with three staff member for various reasons including financial mismanagement.

SASCOC have come under fire for some of the problems faced by the federation over the last 10 months, including a bungling of prize money during the track and field season and wide criticism of team selection for international championships.

ASA administrator Ray Mali, however, admitted off the bat he knew little about the sport, and entrusted the running of the federation to an interim board and other figures he brought in to assist, who must take a large portion of the blame for poor decision making.

Mali, mandated by SASCOC to form a new ASA board, has done exactly that, although he was at the head of the federation for longer than most, including himself, would have liked.

But after a lengthy process, held up by a forensic audit, Mali has ensured the correct procedures have been followed for the federation to move forward on a cleaner slate.

The financial problems still exist, but a three-year deal with Yellow Pages and a healthy spoonful from the National Lotteries Board will assist athletics figures as they attempt to rebuild the federation from the ground up.

A handful of ASA provincial members had rejected elections for a new board at a special general meeting last weekend, but SASCOC decided at a meeting in Bloemfontein on Friday that elections must be held with pressure being exerted by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

“It was decided that ASA must adhere to an IAAF request to fill the vacancies on the ASA board,” a statement read.

The board members elected later this month will stand until 2012, and will also decide the fate of the suspended figures who have not resigned, with disciplinary procedures expected to be completed by the time they take control.