Gaborone - Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) has been slapped with a US$9 000 fine by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) for failing to participate at the 2019 World Relays.
This was confirmed this week by BAA treasure Brian Mosweu who revealed further that the money was reduced because initially they were expected to pay US$1000 per athlete.
"Had they gone ahead and charges us per athlete, our fine would have been US$21 000 but they reduced it to US$9 000," he said.
IAAF has given Botswana two weeks to have settled the fine. Mosweu said they have submitted a request to the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) asking for funds. The BAA was embroiled in a controversy recently when it failed to send the senior national men's team to the World Relays in Yokohama, Japan.
The BAA then blamed the BNSC for failing to release the funds on time while the commission accused the association of failure to apply for funds.
According to IAAF World Relays Yokohama 2019 Team Manual section 3.3.6, a penalty of US$1 000 per athlete, after the first two, may be imposed on member federations, which after having announced through the preliminary entries their participation in an IAAF competition, do not take part.
According to a report in the Daily News, BNSC executive director Falcon Sedimo dismissed as untrue reports that the commission failed to release funds to enable relay teams to compete at the World Relays billed for Japan this week.
He stated that BAA submitted a request for funds to undertake the trip on May 7 and the sport development manager, Elsie Magadi, approved it the same day with the finance director, Kabelo Mmono, passing it on May 8.
This followed approval of BAA email that was submitted on May 3 at 4:44pm.
Sedimo said as such BAA officials were supposed to have signed for withdrawal of money in the morning of May 8 to facilitate payment for processing of visas.
He also stated that BAA leadership had an appointment with the Japanese Embassy on May 8 before 12 noon to allow for processing of visas for the teams.
“We are informed that they arrived late, which militated against the possibility to pay for the processing of visas before 12 noon on May 8,” he said.
The BNSC was ready and willing to finance the trip, though it had not yet received the grant from the government for the 2019/2020 financial year, he said, adding that if visas had been processed, they would have financed the trip.
On one hand, BAA vice president, Kenneth Kikwe, pointed an accusing finger to BNSC, saying the BAA submitted its budget to BNSC in April.