SA dumps Semenya

on

Despite efforts by Athletics SA to obtain an exemption, the
27-member team representing South Africa at next
month’s IAAF World Championships in Moscow, will be
missing Caster Semenya.
“I understand and accept the IAAF’s viewpoint. If they
should make an exception for Caster where do they draw
the line?” ASA president James Evans said on Wednesday.
Evans had contacted the International Association of
Athletics Federations to find out whether there was any
possibility Semenya could still compete after the Olympic
800m silver medallist missed the qualifying standard by
0.36 seconds.
While being sympathetic to his request, the IAAF had to
stick to the rules of the competition, Evans said.
ASA was also forced to apologise to women’s marathon
champion Cornelia Joubert, after an administrative blunder
prevented her from travelling with the team to Moscow.
Running a qualification time of two hours 39 minutes at
the Orange Marathon in Mauritius in June, Joubert’s name
was added to the team, however, it was recently
discovered that the Mauritius event was not recognised as
a qualification event by the IAAF.
According to Evans, the mistake was made by an ASA
official who did not first ascertain which of the marathons
were valid for qualification, before submitting names for
team selection.
“This should never have happened. Athletics should
always be about what is best for the athlete,” Evans said.
“It is totally unacceptable that an athlete should find out at
such short notice that she will not be able to compete at a
World Championship because somebody did not do his job
properly.

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