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Athletics officials speak out about Semenya saga

Discussion in 'Sports' started by ByaseL, Sep 23, 2009.

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    ByaseL JF-Expert Member

    Sep 23, 2009
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    Three officials who had the power to veto Athletics South Africa (ASA) president Leonard Chuene's decision not to withdraw Caster Semenya from the World Athletics Championships in Berlin have taken different stances on the situation as Chuene awaits his fate.

    Sports administrators and politicians have called for Chuene's resignation after he admitted he lied about any knowledge of gender-tests conducted on Semenya before the championships..

    Chuene also admitted that ASA team doctor Harold Adams advised him on August 13 to withdraw Semenya on the basis of the results of tests undertaken on August 7, but he chose not to do so.

    While the ASA council meets on Thursday to discuss the matter, three other officials have spoken out.

    The team's head of delegation, Kakata Maponyane, admitted he was in attendance when Adams advised they withdraw the athlete, but agreed with Chuene that they should allow her to run.

    Maponyane said on Wednesday that without seeing the test results, they had no reason to withdraw Semenya, despite the advice of Adams -- who has been the ASA team doctor for almost two decades and is general practitioner to South African President Jacob Zuma -- after it was discovered that Semenya had three times as much testosterone as an average woman.

    "I asked Harold why we should withdraw her and he couldn't give us a reason," Maponyane said.

    "On what basis could we have withdrawn the child? To do such a thing we needed facts and he couldn't show us the test results."

    One of the two team managers, Phiwe Mlangeni-Tsholetsane, denied that she knew anything about Adams' advice to withdraw the athlete.

    "People are claiming that I was in that meeting, but I was never in that meeting between Adams and Chuene," Tsholetsane said.

    "I don't think it would be proper for me to comment on this matter. I will leave that up to Mr Chuene, who has been dealing with this matter. One thing I can say is that I am equally as angry as everybody else in the nation about this."

    The other team manager, Hendrick Mokganyetsi, also denied his attendance at the meeting, but said he was informed what had been discussed. He added that he agreed with the decision not to withdraw Semenya without concrete evidence from Adams.

    "I was not in that meeting, but they told me afterwards what was said, and I agreed with the decision they made," Mokganyetsi said.

    "There was nothing in black and white and I thought they made the right decision."

    The day after that meeting -- August 14 -- two days before Semenya's first-round heat in the women's 800m, Chuene met with the IAAF medical commission, which also advised him to withdraw Semenya, suggesting she feign an injury. Again he declined.

    The ASA council is scheduled to meet in Johannesburg at 10am on Thursday to discuss the matter, as well as Chuene's future at the head of the board. - Sapa