Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) says they will be taking disciplinary measures against national team athletes Baboloki Thebe and Onkabetse Nkobolo after they broke protocol and sneaked out of camp. Allegations are that the two athletes were returning from their late night escapades in the wee hours of Saturday March 21st when Thebe lost control of his car which then overturned.
The accident left Nkobolo’s athletics future hanging in the balance after he suffered serious spinal shock. It is also reported that the athlete had to undergo surgery. A female companion who they had been travelling with also sustained serious injuries. Fortunately, Thebe was able to escape with only minor injuries and was treated and discharged from the hospital on the same day.
BNOC was hopeful that the athletics team would use the last available Olympic qualifying competition slots to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Thebe is now facing charges of reckless driving. BNOC Chief Executive Officer, Tuelo Serufho said the duo will face disciplinary action. Asked how BNOC is assisting the two athletes, Serufho said ‘we are working closely with other authorities to ensure that Nkobolo gets all the necessary support as he remains in hospital.’
“As for Thebe, since the end of the camp, we have withheld any financial support to him pending disciplinary proceedings,” explained Serufho.
Serufho did not want to be drawn into discussing Nkobolo’s health condition save to refer the reporter to Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) and his family. He, however, told this publication that Thebe is in good health. Asked if there was any intention to call the two athletes for a disciplinary hearing, the BNOC CEO said there will be consequences.
“They will be summoned before the disciplinary structures,” he said.
The two were on camp in preparations for the Olympic qualifiers which they were supposed to take place in a month’s time.
Prior to postponement of Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, five Batswana athletes had qualified. Amantle Montsho, Galefele Moroko, Christine Botlogetswe and Nigel Amos all from athletics and Keamogetswe Kenosi of boxing.
Serufho said BNOC is working on new plans and budgets following postponement of 2020 Olympic Games due to COVID19.