Our best athletes are let down

South Africa’s medal prospects at this month’s IAAF World Championships in Moscow are reduced by the absence of two athletes who could have been there if Athletics South Africa (ASA) were more jacked up.

National women’s marathon champion Cornelia Joubert would have been on the plane to Russia if ASA had realised that the Orange Marathon she ran in Mauritius in June was not recognised by the IAAF as a qualifier for Moscow. ASA president James Evans blames an unnamed official for not checking this information.

That’s called passing the buck.

There’s also been a mix-up regarding the eligibility of Olympic 800m silver medallist and former World Champion, Caster Semenya. Although she failed to qualify at either the A or B standards with her third placed 2:01.86 in Belgium last week, she could reportedly have entered via another route.

But special application should have been made before July 15, according to Beeld. By the time the ASA approached the IAAF to plead on Semenya’s behalf it was too late. The ASA is notoriously dysfunctional. But modern professional athletes also have agents and trainers, who are not doing their jobs professionally. They should know the rules.

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