A group of retired athletes, coaches, past executives and current coaches have urged the current administration of the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA) to step down.
The concerned group at a press conference on Tuesday registered their displeasure about how the Executives of the association have paid little or no attention to the one-time-crowd-pulling discipline.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, former Athletics Coach, Mr. Princeworth Annan-Asare, said the current body has contributed to the dwindling fortunes of athletics – from mismanagement, greed, autocracy, self-centeredness, divide and rule tactics adopted by its President Prof Francis Dodoo, Chief Executive Officer Fuseini Bawa and the Executive Committee.
“Ghana was once the hub for athletes who sacrificed to raise the flag of Ghana. The likes of Ignatius Gaizah, Emmanuel Tuffour (Koora), Ohene Karikari, Kwaku Nimako among other male athletes, made Ghana proud; not forgetting Vida Anim, Margaret Simpson, Martha Edusei among other females.
“People trooped to the stadia to watch athletes train and even bet on their performances,” he stated.
He explained that despite the busy schedules, inter-schools competition, regional athletics, national championships among others brought respect to the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) terrain.
According to Mr Annan-Asare, they felt aggrieved and sent petitions to the IAAF, now World Athletics, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, National Sports Authority, Ghana Olympic Committee, and the Executive, but have all fallen on deaf ears.
“Instead of rectifying issues to make athletics better, we received suspensions, rejections and get sidelined by the GAA Executive,” he added.
Former national athlete, Mr Edwin Randolph also made a number of allegations against the GAA and questioned its integrity and trust.
“We are not under-miners, litigants to take this action. We wouldn’t have gone far if the management and administration have been fair in their dealings. We want the Executive, Secretary to step down as well as Charles Osei Asibey, President of Ghana Armwrestling Federation and Mr Ababu, a member of the Handball Federation of Ghana because they are in the wrong territory,” he added.
For his part, former GAA President, Mr George Lutterodt also asked that Youth Olympic Gold medalist Martha Bissah be freed from his six-year suspension by the association.
“Most of the actions taken by Prof Dodoo, Mr Bawa and the GAA management were unethical and unconstitutional.
“Martha is a remarkable athlete who deserves better; she was banned as a minor (17years) and despite all this, she has done extremely well in the United States graduating with three degrees.
The GAA have damaged her; had it not been the ban, she should have been at the Tokyo Olympics,” he added.