Non-recognition of Athletics SA

asaNearly two months have passed since a group of individuals has tried to take over Athletics South Africa. During that time they have repeatedly admitted they are not recognised by the IAAF but have claimed recognition is coming. Christmas, which was also coming, has now gone and there is still no recognition.

This is not surprising: The IAAF Constitution is clear, they can only recognise ad hoc committees if they have given prior approval for their formation. Since there was no prior approval, it cannot be given now for a committee already formed. The IAAF is a principled organisation which will follow its own rules and will apply its Constitution without fear or favour.

The consequences of this must be understood. Failure to be recognised by the IAAF has devastating consequences for the athletes concerned. It means NO international competition. It does not apply only to the elites, who will be barred from the World and Continental Championships, as well as the Diamond Leagues, etc, but also the average runner who wants to enter the mass participation road races overseas. It goes further, in that events in South Africa which do not recognise the IAAF rules will also find themselves out in the cold – events such as Comrades and Two Oceans will not attract international athletes who will run the risk of being banned for taking part in unauthorised events.

What is more disconcerting is that the group of individuals have ordered regions to pay their levies into the account of Athletics Gauteng North, and not into the Athletics South Africa account. This constitutes fraud and theft and is placing ASA at risk. AGN is a totally different legal entity from ASA and has no legal right to that money. At the same time, the individuals concerned have physically invaded the ASA offices and locked staff out. This all constitutes criminal activity and it will be reported to the SA Police in due course. Unfortunately, the status of athletes affiliated to AGN, which is clearly trying to set itself up as a rival federation to ASA, will be adversely affected.

A delegation from the IAAF is due to visit South Africa soon to discuss the situation. It is hoped that this will bring this sorry saga to an end.

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