Botswana Karate Association (BOKA) this week moved swiftly to suspend young Karateka Boitumelo Koone, BG Sport has learnt.
Koone’s suspension follows his much-publicized displeasure with the Association after sustaining an injury. Koone recently came out all guns blazing when he accused the BOKA leadership of neglecting him after the career threatening leg injury he sustained earlier this year.
Last week BG sport reported Koone’s story when the athlete said the intervention of a family member saved his life as his injuries would have taken a turn for the worst. According to Koone, a private doctor who attended to his injury discovered a ligament tear and blood clots around his wound.
To add salt to injury, the Karateka vented his frustrations on social media and used derogatory terms to address BOKA officials. According to the athlete, BOKA does not care about the welfare of athletes. However, it seems the BOKA Executive Committee did not tolerate Koone’s behavior. This week, BOKA slapped the 2010 Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) junior sports person of the year award winner with a suspension letter.
Reached for comment on the matter, BOKA mouthpiece Isaiah Ramontshonyane confirmed the suspension of the athlete from all BOKA activities. He explained that they have put Koone on suspension until further notice while they investigate the matter.
Ramontshonyane explained that the karateka breached one of the BOKA policies hence his suspension. According to article 7.5 of the BOKA constitution, no member or club shall approach the media or any other external body for redress without exhausting all available channels of dispute resolution.
Ramontshonyane said that they do not condone indiscipline at BOKA and it is unfortunate that some athletes often neglect the rules put before them. He said the athlete should have followed the right appeal procedures if he felt aggrieved by the decisions made by the executive committee.
Ramontshonyana said the athlete commission and the disciplinary committee would hear the matter. “We are not sure what will happen but the decision will be made once we have exhausted all angles of the matter,” he said.
For his part, Koone of Kofukan Federation remained cagey when asked about the details of his suspension letter. The athlete said he was still dealing with the matter and will be open to talk at a later time. Nevertheless, BG Sport has been reliably informed that prior to his injury early this year, the once promising athlete was returning from a two- year suspension. It is alleged that Koone was previously over issues of indiscipline. “He might be forgiven if he is remorseful but it becomes a bit tricky if he is repeat offender.
It does not look, nevertheless cases differ,” Ramontshonyane said. For his part Kofukan chairman David Hobona said he was not aware of any recent suspensions involving one of their own. “The matter has not reached me yet and I am afraid I cannot comment on the matter,” he said.