Olympic Committee angers boxers

MASERU — Boxing authorities in the country have accused the Lesotho National Olympic Committee (LNOC) of hampering their preparations for the Commonwealth Games.

The Lesotho Amateur Boxing Association (Laba) alleges the LNOC is abusing its authority by interfering in the running of the game.Laba, in a damning three-page press statement, also accuses the LNOC of siding with a faction that is attempting to take over control of the sport.The boxing association is not happy that the LNOC allegedly wants to revisit the fight for power in Laba between the Fako Hakane-led committee and a faction headed by Takatso Ramakhula.“The re-opening of this case was seen and will always be seen by Laba as abuse of power by LNOC in aid of their fallen allies,” Laba says in the statement signed by its secretary-general Monethi Monethi.The High Court on December 9 last year dissolved a committee led by Ramakhula which had allegedly usurped power from the incumbent committee then headed by Makhetha Mosotho.The court reinstated the old committee and ordered fresh elections which were then held on February 6.Ramakhula’s group was not part of the elections and the faction lodged complaints with the LNOC and the Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC).The LSRC then met with Hakane’s and Ramakhula’s group.According to the press statement, the LSRC confirmed Hakane’s committee as the genuine Laba leadership.However, the LNOC is understood to have called for a fresh inquest because it was not part of the meeting called by the LSRC.“It was not Laba’s fault that LNOC was not invited to the case,” the press statement says.“Laba refuse to be drawn into the LNOC/LSRC power struggle.“To Laba, both are our mother bodies and if one handles our disciplinary case, the other should either be involved or abide by the verdict.”The Hakane committee accuses the LNOC of supporting Ramakhula.“LNOC had conflict of interest in Laba affairs as they showed allegiance with Ramakhula-led faction during the court case,” the statement says.Laba says because of the power struggle the association was failing to focus on preparing a team for October’s Commonwealth Games in India.“What is unfortunate is that LNOC refuses to see that their actions are inhibiting the progress of boxing ahead of the Commonwealth Games,” the statement says.LNOC officials were not available for comment except one who spoke on condition of anonymity because she is not authorised to speak to the media.She said the LNOC had resolved to call a meeting to address the Laba saga.“I can only tell you that LNOC is working hard to address this matter before it gets out of hand,” she said.Ramakhula could not be reached for comment by the time of going to print last night.

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