Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) has criticised the star 400m runner, Isaac Makwala’s conduct, after the Commonwealth champion decided to bypass the athletics body in seeking assistance regarding an injury.
Makwala dealt directly with the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC), which left the BAA feeling undermined.
BAA secretary general, Raymond Phale told Mmegi Sport that it was high time that athletes understood procedure.
“Makwala is a senior athlete and he should be guiding young athletes. He knows that he should come to us when he has an injury. Right now he wants us to step in because BNOC needs a letter from us,” he said.
Phale said this made their job difficult and it is unfortunate that Makwala thinks he is bigger than BAA.
“The same thing was done by Karabo Sibanda. After Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, he decided to go to England with his manager. He
did not care about us. Now he wants to come back to us because he needs medical attention,” Phale fumed.
He said athletes think that just because they are under the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Solidarity Fund, the money is released at the snap of their fingers.
For his part, Makwala said he decided to approach BNOC because he was sure of speedy assistance.
“I knew that they were going to assist me quickly because of OS (Olympic Solidarity). I am currently undergoing physiotherapy, but I needed more medical attention,” he explained. Makwala had earlier taken his frustration to social media and Phale warned athletes to be careful about what they post.
“Athletes are influenced by some people to post stuff. Next time they won’t be lucky when we take action,” he said.
BNOC chief executive officer, Tuelo Serufho said they do not have a social media code of conduct for athletes. He said the current set up only monitors athletes when in camp and during competitions.
He said they are working on a code of conduct that would apply all the time, even during off-season.
“We are aware of what Makwala wrote on social media. We are investigating the issue. He accused us of giving the Minister false information. The BNOC never falsify their reports to government,” Serufho said.