IAAF President apologises

18th August 2017
HOME SWEET HOME: Team Botswana returned from the IAAF World championships in London, UK yesterday (Tuesday). The team, consisting of 12 athletes, failed to secure a single medal from the International showpiece. Botswana’s 400m runner Baboloki Thebe is picture here greeting his supporters at Sir Seretse Khama International airport. Source:The Midweek Sun

The president of IAAF Sebastian Coe is expected in Botswana next year to give a formal apology over the unfair treatment of local 400m sprinter Isaac Makwala at the2017 World championships held in London recently. Team Botswana Head of Delegation Moses Raphutshe confirmed in an interview with Sun Sports yesterday (Tuesday). Raphutshe was speaking during the Team Botswana welcome ceremony at Avani Hotel in Gaborone.

Raphutshe said the IAAF management has admitted to treat Makwala unfairly when they denied him to race his 200m heats and 400m final over the assumptions that he might have contracted the contagious Norovirus. According to Raphutshe, Coe reached out to Botswana to try and explain what really transpired during the 2017 World championships in London. Raphutshe said Botswana was quick to demand an apology from the IAAF, as they strongly believe that the organisation did not handle the matter in professional manner.

After the well-publicized controversy, the IAAF president is reported to have met with both Makwala and the entire Botswana team. “He spoke to athletes and even took selfies with them, he gave them a few words of encouragement but did not spend much time with us because he had other commitments as the championships were coming to an end,” Raphutshe said. Quizzed on Botswana’s current relationship with the IAAF, Raphutshe said they are still in good books with the Athletics governing body.

“They did what they felt was right and nothing has changed between the two parties,” he said. Regarding the 400m final issue, he said are still to find out what will happen as IAAF has extended an olive branch. The two parties have joined hands and we will find ways of reaching a solution on the matter. Meanwhile the man of the moment ‘Badman’, as Makwala is popularly known, did not return home with the rest of the team.

Makwala is scheduled to race his 200m-diamond league race on the 22nd and 400m on the 24th August in Zurich, Switzerland. Makwala is expected back in the country on the 29th August. For his part, Coach Mogomotsi Otsetswe said the athletes performed well despite the Makwala saga. “The situation was weighing heavily on all of us, they were not themselves at all,” Otsetswe said. He also expressed concern over the re-occurring injuries haunting his athletes but assured that Baboloki Thebe and Karabo Sibanda’ s injuries are not that grave. The duo is expected to be back in action in a month’s time.

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