Sports Features of 2014-09-03

RE: Ghana Athletics Association President Reacts To Malicious Publication

Rejoinder: Ghana Athletics Association President, Francis Dodoo, Reacts To Malicious Publication
My attention has been drawn to a story being circulated by myjoyonline.com about me, and which they attribute to ‘sportscrusader’. It is entitled “SHOCKING: Martha Bissah’s Mother ‘Fights’ Prof. Doodo over Prez. Mahama’s Donation.” I categorically deny the contents of the myjoyonline.com publication and wish to state as follows:
On Monday September 1st, 2014, we (the Ghana Olympic Committee and the Ghana Athletic Association) led Martha Bissah to present her Gold Medal to the President at the Flagstaff House. The President presented her with an amount of GH¢10,000.00, which he handed over to me during the ceremony. Immediately after His Excellency's kind gesture, and in the full glare of the cameras and Martha’s parents, I handed the money over to Martha. Some time in between the photo taking session, someone handed the money back to me, and I passed it on to the GOC Secretary-General, Lawyer Richard Akpokavie. By the time, I was done with my conversations and interviews with the Flagstaff House Press Corps; the entire contingent I came with had already left the Flagstaff House. At no point in time at the Flagstaff House, did Martha’s mother, or any family member, ask me for the GH¢10,000 or any other funds for that matter.
When I got to my car I called the Secretary-General and found out that they were all at lunch at Afrikiko so I headed there to join them all at lunch at Afrikiko so I headed there to join them. At lunch, the Secretary- General handed over the money to her. At no point during the lunch or thereafter, did her mother or any other family member ask me anything whatsoever about the GH¢10,000. For some context, Martha and a couple of the athletes stayed with my family and I in my home upon the team's return from Morocco for the two days before she left for China. She asked that I keep her Glasgow per diem monies for her so it would be safe. Upon Martha's return from China, she again stayed with my family in the two days leading up to Monday’s visit to the Flagstaff House. Before we left for Flagstaff House, I returned the Glasgow monies to her.
1. At no point before, during or after the meeting with the President did any misunderstanding ensue between Martha’s mother and myself.
2. It is never true that I, at any point, the GH¢10,000 from Martha, be it at the Flagstaff House or after we left the premises.
3. I never mentioned that the federation would keep her money in its account, neither did I ever say that the federation or anyone would need it "in order to sponsor her again in any other international event".
4. There was never a time the mother came to me to demand the money.
5. There was never a time I tried to explain anything to the mother re keeping the money.
6. There was never an argument, heated or otherwise, between Martha’s mother and myself.
7. There was never a time she told me she wasn't happy with anything as "we were parting ways".
8. There was never a time I gave the money back, because the money was in fact not in my possession.
While, some may be eager to act in a concerted manner against my person, I plead that the life of a young promising Ghanaian success story, Martha, is spared in this deliberate plot against me. I also wish to place on record that myjoyonline.com made absolutely no effort to crosscheck the story with me before publishing, a conduct, which is in clear violation of basic journalistic and broadcasting ethics.
In light of the enormous damage done to my reputation by the publication of this malicious falsehood, I demand a retraction and an unqualified apology from myjoyonline.com.
Signed & Issued in Accra, today September 02, 2014
Professor Francis Dodoo
GOC & GAA President Accra.
Source: Ghana Athletics Association
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