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ASA hearings next month

Athletics South Africa will start disciplinary hearings next month against board members and employees who were suspended by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) in November last year.

The embattled athletics federation are expected to make a report to the International Assocation of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on August 7.

SASCOC took over at the ASA head office in Houghton in November after suspending ASA president Leonard Chuene, the entire board and three staff members for their handling of world 800m champion Caster Semenya and alleged financial mismanagement.

An ongoing forensic audit has delayed Sascoc’s control over the federation – with the Olympic governing body initially expected to have a new board in place last month – but ASA administrator Ray Mali has confirmed that the hearings will begin on July 15 and he will meet with the IAAF in Kiev in the first week of August. A new board cannot be elected, as Mali has repeatedly pointed out, until the hearings have been completed.

Sapa reports that SASCOC were expected to amend the ASA constitution at a meeting in Kempton Park at the weekend, but without extending invites to all members who hold a vote, it developed into nothing more than an information session.

And while no decisions were made, there were some positive aspects covered, according to a senior official who was in attendance.

There are, however, multiple issues that still affect the federation’s progress. Road running sponsors Nedbank have yet to sign a new contract, after cutting short a deal two years early last season, but discussions are ongoing. The banking giant has offered to fund four events in the 2011 Matha Series, as opposed to the 10 which were previously included in the road running calendar, but no contracts have been signed and no road running events were included in the provisional calendar for next season released at the weekend.

Track and field sponsors Yellow Pages signed a new three-year deal earlier this year, but an issue regarding prize money has yet to be addressed by the federation or the interim board.

ASA assistant administrator Richard Stander has repeatedly denied that errors were made in calculating the prize winners this season, and Mali has refused to comment. According to the IAAF points tables, which ASA used to calculate the prize winners, more than R300 000 was awarded to the wrong athletes.

Mali apparently told those in attendance at the weekend that athletes who did not agree with the prize money allocations could write to the ASA office with their complaints.

While the majority of the suspended board members have resigned, Chuene and vice president Kakata Maponyane will face hearings next month. General manager Molatelo Malehopo, marketing and events manager Phiwe Mlangeni-Tsholetsane and Chuene’s personal assistant Humile Bogatsu have all been suspended with full pay since November last year.

Mlangeni-Tsholetsane, who allegedly awarded an ASA mobile marketing contract to a company she owns, handed in her resignation last week. Mali, however, said she would still face a disiplinary hearing.