fifty years ago March 26, 1970 Archives

From the Archives (March 26, 1970): Australia bars athletes from S. Africa

Australia has stepped into the international row over apartheid in sport by suspending its athletics ties with South Africa. The Amateur Athletics Union of Australia ruled at its annual conference here [Adelaide] last week that exchanges of visits by athletes of the two countries would stop “until the situation is clarified.” The move was understood to refer to a decision by a number of countries not to compete against South Africa because of its apartheid policies. Union President Ronald Aitken said the Union decided to send the text of its resolution to the International Amateur Athletic Federation for a policy decision. The problem of South Africa is expected to be discussed when the Federation meets in Amsterdam in May. South Africa had asked to send a team of athletes to compete in the Australian championships now in progress. The athletics decision is in contrast to Australia’s swimming policy. An eight-man Australian team has been competing in South Africa this month. The South African swimming Invitation was accepted despite a warning from British Commonwealth Games Association Secretary, Sandy Duncan that it could prejudice the Australian application for Melbourne to get the 1974 Games.

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