Business Day

Athletics boss Evans hits back at ‘dissenting officials’

- DAVID ISAACSON Johannesbu­rg

IN THE latest round of Athletics SA’s (ASA) marathon boardroom battle, impeached president James Evans says he has suspended six members of the executive.

Evans said yesterday that the six had contravene­d a court order forbidding them from holding a meeting, and by doing so they had brought the sport into disrepute.

“Not only have they placed themselves at risk of being held in contempt of court, but they have also placed ASA at the same risk. In so doing, they have brought ASA and the sport of athletics into disrepute,” said Evans, adding that the finance manager had also been suspended pending an investigat­ion and possible disciplina­ry steps against him.

Evans obtained the court order last week to prevent the board from meeting. The order also confirmed his position as president.

But vice-president Hendrick Ramaala, one of the six executive members, dismissed Evans’s move. “His suspension is illegal. The letters of suspension don’t mean anything.”

After his impeachmen­t in early March, Evans himself was effectivel­y suspended, pending an arbitratio­n, which has yet to happen. Evans, who has termed his own suspension illegal, hit back at his opponents yesterday, accusing them of tipping the sport into chaos and trying to spend money on themselves while staff were still unpaid.

“One of the acts they committed was to pass a resolution appointing legal representa­tives to represent themselves,” said Evans, who himself was accused of running the federation as a one-man show.

“The board members concerned wished to spend money which should be spent on the developmen­t of the sport and the athletes, on legal fees. The way in which they breached the court order was to protect their own interests and not those of the sport.”

With the senior national track and field championsh­ips starting in Stellenbos­ch tomorrow, ASA’s qualifying criteria for the world championsh­ips in Moscow in August have yet to be drawn up.

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