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OP drawn into athletics mess

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OP drawn into athletics mess
DEMANDING ANSWERS: 2017 World Relays silver medalists

4x400m relay team demand their 2017 IAAF winnings

Botswana’s 4X400m men’s relay team, which won a silver medal at last April’s World Relays in the Bahamas, are yet to receive their share of the P600, 000 prize money from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

The local team finished second behind United States of America and were each entitled to at least P40, 000 from the world athletics body.

However, 15 months later, Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) remains mum about the money credited into their account by IAAF.

The seven-man team made up of Isaac Makwala, Baboloki Thebe, Karabo Sibanda, Pako Seribe, Leaname Maotoanong, Boitumelo Masilo and Onkabetse Nkobolo has written to the highest office in the land demanding answers.

A concerned official from BAA, who’s close to the athletes, claimed the association has used the athletes’ incentives from IAAF to pay off their administrative debts.

The veteran administrator told this publication that BAA has been operating on a deficit for ‘a very long time’.

“They went over budget at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing-China and this windfall from IAAF was just what they needed.

“It’s such an embarrassment and unheard of for an association to use money meant for athletes,” he added.

In a letter to the Office of the President dated 19th June, the aggrieved athletes state that the silver medal won in Bahamas was worth US$60, 000 (P600, 000) in prize money, of which they are partly entitled to.

Sharing the same sentiments as the BAA deep throat, the athletes state in their letter that the association seem to have used the money for their own interests.

The athletes are adamant in their letter that IAAF has long credited the US$60, 000 into the BAA account.

“With this communiqùe, we therefore request your office to facilitate and help us get our prize monies from BAA,” the letter reads.

The seven runners further state in their letter that they had no choice but to seek help from the highest office, as BAA seemed to be reluctant to help them.

In response on behalf of Permanent Secretary to the President, Ernest Moseki directs the aggrieved to the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development.

“Office of the President would like to inform you that your complaint letter has been forwarded to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development for their deliberation and resolution,” wrote Moseki.

In a bid to get answers, Voice Sport reached out to the said Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Kago Ramokate.

However, the PS responded with an automated text that he was still in a meeting. He was yet to respond to questions sent to him through text at the time of going for print.