A decision made by KwaZulu-Natal Athletics (KZNA) to reinstate four athletes at the Pietermaritzburg leg of the Spar Women’s Grand Prix series has been overturned by Athletics South Africa.
“The council made a ruling, in line with International Association of Athletics Federations rules, that the race referee can be overridden by an appeal board, but the appeal board decision must stand,” ASA chief executive Richard Stander said after the national federation’s council meeting in Kempton Park on Saturday.
“The results, as decided by the appeal board, must be reinstated.”
The first four athletes across the line were disqualified on the day of the race held in August – including series leader Glenrose Xaba and defending champion Kesa Molotsane – after they took a wrong turn and ran around 600m short.
The appeal committee’s decision, however, was controversially overturned by KZNA.
Following ASA’s decision at the weekend, Irvette van Zyl was declared official winner of the race, after being the first athlete to complete the full distance.
While Xaba remained the series champion, despite losing points from the Pietermaritzburg race, the final rankings of the six-leg Grand Prix campaign would be given a shake, with the other three members of the quartet expected to slide down the standings, while others were expected to climb a few places.
The official ranking lists, which had previously been released by the Grand Prix organisers, would need to be adjusted to determine where the other elite competitors would finish behind Xaba in the lucrative campaign.