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  • Writer's pictureCharles Baloyi

Gert Thys threatens legal action against ASA as elections draw closer

In two days, Athletics South Africa (ASA) will reveal the list of the officials that will contest for the elections taking place on 8 May at the Southern Sun Hotel in Kempton Park. However, the retired marathoner Gert Thys is already gatvol with ASA and is threatening legal action. The two-time Olympian is part of a group of athletes that say they are waiting for the final candidate list to be released on Friday before they take drastic measures against ASA.

The current SA Marathon record holder said he served the sport for more than 30 years and would not sit and fold his arms while what he calls 'mafias' are ruining it. “We will challenge the rules that allow current board members to be automatically re-nominated. We will wait for the list on Friday and decide what steps to take against ASA. We will go to court if we are not happy with the list on Friday. Many athletes' administrators were blocked from entering the elections. We will be briefed properly on the next step after the list is out," he threatened.

Gert Thys (right) is the guest of honour handing out prizes at a local race in his native Northern Cape. Photo Credit: Gert Thys.

The outspoken legend told #TheTopRunner that his province Athletics Griqualand West endorsed his presidential candidature and that he expects to see his name on the list come Friday. He expressed his interest in challenging for the presidency and vice-president positions. Moreover, if his name is not on the list, he said he would approach the highest court in the land to state his case. He also vented his frustrations on his Facebook page to complain about he believes is the unfair process of the ASA elections. "They create a buffer zone and provinces refuse to endorse those who want to run. The ASA process is not fair," said a furious Thys.

The man who won the 1999 Tokyo Marathon says ever since he made public his intentions to challenge ASA boss Aleck Skhosana, he has received threats and was told to pull out of the running. “It took me a while, but I have decided to share this information with you. Since I announced that I want to challenge for the presidency on 8 May, there has been anger. I have been receiving threatening calls from unknown numbers. They have put a price on my head, but this will not discourage me from contesting the elections," he told #TheTopRunner.

A young Gert Thys (back centre) running the 1993 Fukuoka Marathon. Thys enjoyed much success racing in Japan. Photo Credit: Gert Thys.

The 49-year old believes that next month's elections would not be free and fair and is calling on World Athletics to send a mediator to oversee the process. "The ASA elections will not be democratic. There are people that are advancing their agendas using the elections. Yesterday, I received calls from worried athletes who were blocked from entering. The provinces were told not to endorse them," said a furious Thys. When approached for comment ASA said they would only speak about the list after it has been distributed to the provinces at the weekend.

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