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Fiji Time: 3:09 AM on Thursday 28 August

/ Front page / Sport

Miller stays

Arin Kumar And Rashneel Kumar
Tuesday, May 20, 2014

THE International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) recognises Albert Miller as Athletics Fiji president.

In a letter to Miller, IAAF general secretary Essar Gabriel asked Athletics Fiji to have their annual general meeting (AGM) next month.

The letter, dated May 14, was also copied to Dr Ayoade Olatunbosun-Alakija who was elected president during an AGM in March in Nadi.

However, lawyer Adrienne Ali, on behalf of the committee elected in March, said they understand the IAAF had not received information about the March AGM.

Gabriel said all stakeholders of athletics in Fiji should be allowed to take part in the AGM.

"The IAAF has received numerous correspondences regarding allegations made against members of the athletics family in Fiji," he said.

"I would like to bring to your attention that one of the objectives of the IAAF is to encourage the participation in athletics at all levels throughout the world regardless of age, gender or race.

"Athletics Fiji being affiliated to the IAAF is bound to adhere to this objective and to the code of ethics.

"As your (Miller's) term of office will expire on 6 June 2014, you will have to convene an annual general meeting in compliance with the 2008 constitution of your federation."

Gabriel also asked that all court cases be withdrawn and all suspensions lifted before the AGM is held.

"Prior to that (AGM), all court cases and other ongoing litigations should be withdrawn and in addition all suspensions of office bearers and/or other members of the Fiji athletics family should be dropped so that all stakeholders of athletics in Fiji be allowed to take part in this elective annual general meeting but also stand for any position if so they wish."

Gabriel asked that the IAAF be kept in the loop on any discussion regarding the AGM.

"Please note that the IAAF must be copied on all correspondences to your members regarding the holding of the elective annual general meeting."

Ali, however, said that the new committee was properly in place.

"As far as the Committee elected on 29 March 2014 is concerned, the Athletics Fiji AGM, organised by Dr. Mitchell at the IAAF's behest, was held on 29th March 2014 and a new Executive Committee was unanimously voted in, with Dr. Alakija as President (replacing Mr. Albert Miller)," Ali said.

"If the IAAF is under the impression that the AGM held in March 2014 and its outcomes were unlawful and that the Executive Committee elected at that AGM have no authority to call themselves Athletics Fiji, then they must stipulate to that publicly.

"It is our understanding that the IAAF has not yet received formal confirmation of the AGM in Fiji; you can address that query to Dr. Mitchell. All proper procedures and protocols were followed at the AGM, which was chaired by Mr. Vidhya Lakhan at Dr. Mitchell's request, and Dr. Mitchell sent out a press release to that effect on 3rd April 2014."

In a separate statement Miller said "I'm thankful that IAAF still recognizes me as the president and it's a relief as now we can continue unhindered with development of the sport, mobilise the necessary resource to do so towards achieving goals we have set. Its been a bit long and distracting and I am glad it is clarified once and for all for the sake of the athletes and the sport as a whole.

"For us it will be business as usual, we will continue the momentum in having our constitutional review carried out, formalising our strategic plans for the next five years and continue the season with competitions as we have been doing in the past five months."

The AGM has been scheduled for June 7.


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