1 minute read
24 Aug 2013
8:02 am

Athletics need to get back on track


A return of one bronze medal from Team South Africa at the World Championships in Moscow is clearly not what this country would expect from its track and field athletes.

And while we celebrate the third place Johan Cronje managed in the men’s 1 500m, it points directly at the deep malaise afflicting the sport. Under Leonard Chuene’s presidency, athletics reached an all-time low and the misfiring board was ousted.

But right now, the issue is a long-standing battle between the Olympic authority, Sascoc, and Athletics South Africa. The dispute has been fought out amid a  welter of accusations and counter claims, threats, suspensions and walkouts. In the interim, the athletes have suffered, having  their funding withdrawn.

Their cash has been reinstated, but now the IAAF, which governs athletics, wants the issue mediated by former Sascoc kingpin Sam Ramsamy and Cheikh Thiare representing the world athletics body.  No chance, says Athletics South Africa which points to Ramsamy’s Sascoc pedigree. Surely it is time to lock away the egos and talk about getting the ruined house in habitable order.

It certainly can’t go on.