Track & Field News of Tuesday, 6 September 2016
Martha Bissah is tired of the problems associated with competing for Ghana, and she is not sure if she wants to represent the nation any longer.
The former Junior Olympic champion is on her way to a new life in the United States where a full, four-year scholarship could see her blossom into a world class athlete.
But she has not forgotten the unsavoury headlines that have followed her ever since she won gold in Nanjing in 2014.
“I have suffered a lot and gone through problems. But I am very happy for this scholarship because it’s been what I have been waiting for”, she told the media before emplaning.
A direct question from Joy Sports Ernest Buamah about her willingness to run under the Ghanaian flag after her ‘suffering’ elicited a pause, a sigh, and then an answer.
“I will think about it. That’s all I can say. For now, I will think about it.”
Depending on whose perspective is being taken the problems she went through were caused by herself or by the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA) and the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC).
When she begins life at the Norfolk State University in Ohio, the former 800m youth gold medalist will forget about all that. She just turned 19 in August and says she has been traumatised by the attempts by the GAA to destroy her character with lies and vile propaganda.
“Let me tell you something. I was ready to compete [at the last pre-Olympic athletics meet] in Cape Coast. I was ready. But some of my own friends said they had been told by Prof [Francis Dodoo, the GAA chief] not to talk to me, or else they will be disqualified”.
Professor Dodoo has always declined comment on the matter, especially on the controversial suspension of Bissah earlier this year for her accusations that the GAA attempted to extort her repeatedly.
“I was treated differently from other athletes, and I shed tears often”.
Her current scholarship was put together by George Lutterodt, a former GAA head who has openly challenged the current administration on their handling of the teenager.