Athletic SA calls for President to withdraw resignation

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pretoria - Athletics South Africa (ASA) has called on its President, Leonard Chuene to withdraw his resignation from the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF).

"The council instructed Leonard Chuene to withdraw his resignation from the Council of the IAAF and resume his responsibilities in that body as mandated by Athletics South Africa and the Confederation of African Athletics," said ASA.

The body held its General Council meeting at the weekend in Pretoria, where Caster Semenya was discussed.

Since qualifying for, and later winning her race at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin last month, there has been a media furore over the IAAF's decision to conduct gender tests on her.

According to the meeting's resolutions, the manner in which Chuene and the management of ASA handled the issue was approved.

"ASA confirmed its support and confidence in the president, that he had handled the matter exceptionally well and advised him to continue defending the athletes," said a statement.

Chuene had presented a report regarding the events leading to the current dispute with the IAAF.

The council noted that the IAAF "did not follow their constitution and procedures in dealing with the matter and failed to observe the confidentiality required to handle the matter of this sensitivity and the human rights of the athlete".

"The council therefore called on the IAAF to apologise to the athlete, her family and the people of South Africa," said a statement.

The council further urged the IAAF to refrain from communicating with ASA through media statements and use official communication channels.

The meeting decided to appoint a scientific and a legal panel to take up the matter with the IAAF.