SA wants athletics chief

South Africa’s government has demanded that athletics chief Leonard Chuene be sacked after he admitted lying about runner Caster Semenya’s gender tests.

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Chuene had previously denied knowing that tests were carried out on the runner in South Africa before her 800m world title win in August. He then expressed outrage when governing body the IAAF ordered its own tests after the Berlin championships.

Chuene, though, insisted: "I will face this head on. I won’t jump ship." SA deputy sports minister demanded Athletics South Africa "fire" Chuene.

"If they fail to do so, they run the risk of being led by a liar," said Gert Oosthuizen.

The statement added his ministry had been shocked when Chuene admitted lying about his knowledge of tests conducted on Semenya ahead of the athletics World Championships in Berlin last month. Information from the confidential gender tests was leaked to the press ahead of the official publication of the results.

Oosthuizen said his department had twice requested a report from Chuene on events before, during and after Berlin, but had received nothing in return.

Chuene admitted on Saturday that he had lied to the South African public about his knowledge of the tests, conducted on Semenya in Pretoria on 7 August, but said the deception had been intended to protect Semenya’s confidentiality.

"Mr Chuene has not only lied to us as the ministry, but to the whole country, and this is not acceptable," the statement contended.

"We are convinced that the perpetual denial of knowledge of these tests has fuelled the continuous violation of Ms Semenya’s rights and dignity, by foreign and some local media.

"We are of the view that his lies were to Ms Semenya’s detriment."

South Africa’s official opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, joined in the calls for Chuene to leave his post.

Source: BBC NEWS






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