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16th March 2018
Luvo Manyonga has alleged that his former agent, Newton Sports Agency, was responsible for filing his ‘whereabouts’ information, which indicates when and where he will be available for testing. The South African long jump record holder was sanctioned with a four year ban earlier this month for missing a 26 November 2019 test, plus two filing failures dating from 1 April and 1 October 2020. Under the World Anti-Doping Code, any combination of three missed tests and/or filing failures is equivalent to an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) subject to a two year ban.
However, as this was Manyonga’s second ADRV, he was sanctioned with a four year ban. In 2012, he was sanctioned with an 18 month ban for an ADRV involving methamphetamine, which he admitted was due to using Tik, a local version of the drug popular socially in his home township of Mbekweni (Paarl). Following rehabilitation, he returned to training in 2015 and to competition a year later, where he won Silver at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
“I never had an opportunity to update my whereabouts myself”, said Manyonga in an interview with the Cape Times. “I do not understand how my agency did not know about my whereabouts because they knew I was with my sister, and they are the ones who controlled my money”.
In the interview, Manyonga alleges that Newton Sports Agency dropped him. On Twitter, he announced that his relationship with Newton Sports Agency had ended in November last year. The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) of World Athletics notified him about his ‘whereabouts’ charge in December 2020.
In a series of follow up tweets, posted in late November and December 2020, Manyonga alleges that Newton Sports Agency has not paid him due money; and that it held on to his medals and trophies. As reported by The Sports Integrity Initiative, Manyonga’s Attorney claims to have launched a civil and criminal case to recover money that Manyonga alleges is due to him.
Finally parting paths with this sports agency @NEWTONAGENCY
— Luvo manyonga (@lvjumper7) November 29, 2020
I’m still awaiting my full financial reconciliation as requested months ago….I smell a rat….Why can’t your company provide me with my requested documentation/information @NEWTONAGENCY @LeeRoyNewton. Accountability and responsibility please.
— Luvo manyonga (@lvjumper7) December 11, 2020
Newton Sports Agency told News24 that Manyonga’s allegations regarding financial impropriety are false and baseless. In a statement issued to the internet site, it expressed concern that Manyonga may have been ensnared by criminals, adding that Manyonga made his November/December 2020 allegations almost a year after it stopped representing him. It is considering legal action.
Manyonga’s father told the Cape Times that his son intends to appeal the four year ban. Newton Sports Agency represents a number of high profile athletes, including Clarence Munyai, South African record holder in the 200m. The Sports Integrity Initiative has asked the Agency if it was responsible for filing Manyonga’s ‘whereabouts’ information.
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