Sports News of Friday, 9 September 2016
Ghana’s only junior Olympics gold medallist, Martha Bissah has revealed that the Ghana Athletics Association (GAA) never asked her to present her West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) to enable them secure a scholarship for her.
She said no one from the GAA asked her to present her results or certificate, and that all those stories about her were just calculated attempts to discredit her.
It would be recalled that after winning gold in the 800m event in the Junior Olympics held in Nanjing, China, there were lots of controversies surrounding her and the GAA.
She was expected to further her studies abroad on a scholarship but it had to delay because the GAA explained that they requested for her certificates to process documents, which she did not provide.
“I heard about the scholarship programme whilst in Scotland and I was excited because that was the dream of every athlete due to the training facilities available, but when I came back to Ghana no one told me anything about it or my certificate,” she said.
Speaking to the media on her departure after securing a scholarship through the assistance of the former GAA President, Mr George Lutterodt, Martha Bissah expressed her disappointment in the Prof Francis Dodoo-led administration of the GAA for the bad treatment meted out to her, saying she went through a lot when she was handed an indefinite suspension.
“I’m disappointed in the GAA because when I came back from the Olympics in Nanjing, I thought my career and fame had begun and my name will be known all over. I won a gold medal, which for me was a great achievement that will push me to even do more but my case wasn’t like that,” she said.
She added that other athletes of the GAA even refused to talk to her with the claim that if they are seen associating with her, they were also going to be sanctioned.
The athlete, who had mixed feelings on her departure, said: “I have suffered a lot and gone through problems. I would say that the gold medal has rather brought me problems than good.”
She, however, expressed gratitude to the former GAA Chairman, Mr George Lutterodt, for securing her the scholarship; and former national athlete Kwaku Nimako and all her friends and family for the immense support they gave her to advance her career.
The 800m runner left Ghana last Sunday night to begin a four-year scholarship programme at Norfolk State University in Virginia, US.