Mbalula continues ASA probe

2013-06-28 18:00
Fikile Mbalula (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula will meet with Athletics SA (ASA) president James Evans and the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) board in a continued effort to get to the bottom of the rift between the two bodies.

Mbalula met with a Sascoc delegation on Friday, led by the Olympic body's first vice-president, Hajera Kajee, and former Sascoc-appointed ASA administrator Zola Majavu.

"The meeting was to get the report on the current debacle in athletics, which has subsequently led to Sascoc suspending the ASA membership of the confederation," Mbalula said in a statement.

"The meeting resolved to meet the full board meeting of Sascoc to look at the long term view and the end result with regard to athletics in the country."

He would also attempt to "resolve all governance matters in sport in the country" when he met with the Sascoc board.

Mbalula said he would meet with Evans on Monday to hear his side of the conflict.

“This is a serious matter, to prepare our Olympic team and administration of athletes in the country looking for the Rio Olympics," he said.

“We need to sit down with Sascoc and say enough is enough."

Sascoc suspended the financially embattled athletics federation last week, after a long-running feud with Evans and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

The Olympic body barred athletes from competing in International Olympic Committee (IOC) events and removed athletes from its Operation Excellence programme for funding and support.

The athletics contingent to next month's World Student Games in Kazan, Russia, was omitted when the team was announced earlier this week.

And while Jean Kelly, an executive manager in the office of Sascoc chief executive Tubby Reddy, confirmed on Thursday the door remained open for the athletics team to be included, she said the Sascoc board had not changed its decision.

ASA named a 34-member team on Friday for next month's World Youth Championships in Donetsk, Ukraine, which is sanctioned by the IAAF, and not the IOC.

"Despite the recent controversy about the team, it has been submitted to the IAAF and currently applications are being made for visas for the team," ASA said in a statement.

"ASA calls on everyone to get behind the team and not let these stars of the future to be caught up in other people's disputes."

Read more on:    asa  |  sascoc  |  fikile mbalula  |  athletics

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