ASA entrant cut over doping
Athletics SA (ASA) suffered a self-inflicted black eye yesterday as it was forced to cut one athlete from its world championship squad after entering discus thrower Victor Hogan erroneously.
The federation, defiant amid calls by athletes to increase the size of the team it is sending to London for the August 4-13 showpiece, had to backtrack over Hogan's selection.
In a press release issued last night, ASA said it had "entered his name as the [African] champion based on his win of the continental title" in Durban last year.
But the sport's world governing body, IAAF, had rejected Hogan's entry because of his doping suspension last year.
ASA said he failed a test at the national championships in April, nullifying all results thereafter, including the African championships two months later.
ASA president Aleck Skhosana had suggested on Sunday that Hogan was included because he had thrown a qualifying standard, but the IAAF and other respected athletics websites had no record of this feat.
ASA said in the press release that the world championship squad now comprised 23 - 17 men and six women.
No fewer than 38 SA athletes qualified for the August 4-13 world championships in London by achieving the standards set by the IAAF.
But ASA imposed even tougher criteria, which only 18 achieved. Using their discretion, the ASA selectors picked five IAAF qualifiers.
ASA released the controversial team on Friday, telling athletes they should lodge appeals by the end of Sunday.
Several athletes did, but ASA has clearly refused to budge.
Skhosana said the final team was submitted to the IAAF before the deadline of noon yesterday.
It would seem the only chance for SA's excluded athletes now is to hope they get invited by the IAAF to fill quotas.
The IAAF has a stipulated number of athletes it wants to compete in each discipline.