ASA President, Board suspended

Friday, November 6, 2009
By: 
Nthambeleni Gabara

Pretoria - Athletics South Africa (ASA) President Leonard Chuene, the Board and its members were suspended with immediate effect over their handling of the Caster Semenya saga.

Chuene and the Board were suspended by South Africa's Olympic governing body, SASCOC, on Thursday.

In a statement, SASCOC said it was also considering "taking appropriate action against the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for its disregard of Semenya's rights to privacy following speculation over her gender".

Semenya won the women's 800 metre title at the World Championships in Berlin in August.
The IAAF had already begun a gender verification process prior to the race but Semenya was allowed to compete pending the outcome of the tests.

It was subsequently disclosed that ASA conducted gender verification tests on Semenya in South Africa before she competed in Berlin. Chuene later admitted lying about the tests, saying he had wanted to protect the athlete's privacy.

SASCOC said a special meeting was convened to consider a report by the SASCOC Legal and Arbitration Commission into the handling of Semenya's saga.

The outcome of the meeting decided that Chuene would be suspended with immediate effect pending the outcome of a disciplinary investigation and further action.

"Kakata Maponyane, Molatelo Malehopo and Ms Phiwe Mlangeni should be suspended with immediate effect pending the outcome of a disciplinary investigation and further action.

"The Board of ASA and its Members should be suspended with immediate effect pending the outcome of a disciplinary investigation and further action.

"Ms Humile Bogatsu should be suspended with immediate effect pending the outcome of a disciplinary investigation and further action," SASCOC said.

A decision was also taken to appoint SASCOC Board member, Ray Mali, as the administrator of ASA.

As an administrator, Mali will convene an urgent meeting of the Council of ASA (excluding the suspended individuals) and elect an Interim Board of ASA pending the outcome of the disciplinary enquiry.

The suspended individuals will appear before a disciplinary enquiry to answer charges of bringing ASA, the sport of athletics, SASCOC and sport in general into disrepute in a date yet to be announced.