BNOC ditches Sibanda


Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) has suspended its support for 400m-runner, Karabo Sibanda, after he engaged an unaccredited manager.

Addressing the media yesterday, BNOC chief executive officer, Tuelo Serufho said they have decided to suspend support towards the athlete.

He said they have had an issue over the arrangement that Sibanda has with the manager.

Serufho said the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) accredits managers, but Sibanda engaged one who is not accredited.

“IAAF has an accreditation system for people who manage athletes. Sibanda has decided to work with a certain gentleman who is not accredited by the IAAF. So we have had issues that should we continue to support somebody who is not accredited to manage our athletes,” he said.

Serufho said they wondered what would happen if Sibanda’s manager goes against the IAAF constitution or even the Olympic charter.

He said the BNOC has decided to halt support towards the athlete until the matter is resolved.

“As an example, what if the manager encourages Sibanda to use banned substances?” he wondered.

He said they respect that most athletes can make their own decisions, but the BNOC has to make sure that the decisions are in their best interests.

Serufho said they are working on resolving the issue together with the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) and Sibanda’s parents. He said the athlete is training in Jamaica and has been getting medical attention in London.

“We are worried that the more time it takes (to resolve the issue), the challenge it becomes for us, because he is one of our medal hopes for Tokyo 2020,” Serufho said.

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