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More athletics chaos

A meeting for athletes to discuss the poor state of the sport in the country has had to be called off in Pretoria on Saturday.

Sapa reported that a group of “drunk” individuals caused sufficient disruption for organisers being forced to call it off.

Double Commonwealth bronze medallist sprinter Geraldine Pillay, who organised the meeting to discuss the poor state of the sport in the country, said she suspected Athletics South Africa (ASA) of causing the disruption.

“We could not resolve anything because the meeting was disrupted by a group of individuals who arrived drunk,” Pillay said.

“But we had enough response from the athletes to know that we should take this forward. We will definitely do this again.

“Unfortunately certain individuals, who are not even athletes or former athletes, don’t seem to care enough about the sport and misinterpreted what the meeting was about.

“I have been told that ASA mobilised these people to disrupt the meeting.”

While others are calling for ASA president Leonard Chuene’s head for his mishandling of the Caster Semenya gender controversy, Pillay said the meeting had never been about Chuene or Semenya.

“This meeting was not about whether Leonard should stay or go, and it wasn’t about Caster,” Pillay said.
“This was supposed to be an open platform for athletes to voice their concerns about what is happening in the sport.

“Nedbank said it withdrew its sponsorship of road running this week because of mismanagement at events organised by ASA, and we can’t afford that.

“We are going to appoint an athletes’ commission in the interim to give us a voice, but we will definitely hold this meeting again soon.”