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Ghana Banned From Athletics
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Ghana has been banned from competing in the August15 World Athletics championship scheduled for Berlin, German. This paper can confirm that the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) has formally written to the Ghana Amateur Athletics Association, headed by Francis Dodoo, indicating that the nation will not be allowed to take part in this month’s competition.

This comes after the International Olympics Committee (IOC) was informed about the interference of the government in the elections of new executives for the Ghana Olympics Committee (GOC). Additionally, the IOC expressed concerns over the reconstitution of the various sporting associations. It would be recalled that confusion erupted at the congress of the GOC earlier in June, when Nii Lante Vandurpuije, a leading member of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) caused a stir by interfering in the registration of delegates and causing the exit of the GOC Boss, B.T Baba.

This apparently angered Mr. Baba to call off the meeting where the new members of the GOC were to be elected. Though the members went ahead to elect new executive members with Professor Francis Duodu as the new GOC boss, Mr. Baba wrote to the IOC, demanding the annulment of the elections which was against the GOC rules. The International Olympic Summer Sports Federation also wrote back in reply to the letters of various past Federation Presidents and General Secretaries.

A letter signed by Pere Miro, the National Olympic Committee (NOC) Relations Director of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on July 16, 2009, and copied to Jacques Rogge, President of IOC, and BT Baba, among other top local Olympic officials, stated that it had monitored the recent impasse in the GOC and was therefore seeking the reinstatement of the legitimate office bearers of the national federations, particularly the Presidents and Secretary Generals.

The letter added, “The Federation Presidents and Secretary Generals should be the only ones entitled to represent their national federations in the GOC General Assembly.” Meanwhile, some Ghanaian athletes preparing feverishly in Germany for the world championship have expressed their disappointment after spending precious time and money on their preparations. The championship would bring together the world’s best to compete for various honours.

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