Namibia’s Tokyo Olympics medalist and 200m multiple record holder Christine Mboma has roped in the services of top lawyers to help her break away from a contract she currently has with South African-based Newton Sports Agency, New Era Sport has learnt.
Represented by sports agent Bradley Agnew, the agency announced this year that they had contracted the services of both Mboma and fellow Olympian Beatrice Masilingi and had arranged for both to train with that country’s top athletics coach Hennie Kriel and no longer under local coach Henk Botha.
But Mboma and her mentor Botha later refuted Newton Sports Agency’s pronouncements, saying Mboma had no plans or desire to part ways with Botha. At the time, she also indicated that the agency used her name and image without her permission.
On her part, Masilingi had indicated that she would move ahead with plans to train under new coach Kriel and under the patronage of the agency.
After a string of media reports, Newton Sports Agency came out and insisted that Mboma was officially contracted to them and that Botha had no business speaking or taking decisions on her behalf as the athlete was no longer under his management.
Both Botha and Mboma retaliated by further rebutting those claims and the back and forth continued for months between the parties which has now escalated to the legal high table where lawyers from both parties have been exchanging rivalling letters.
New Era Sport could not independently establish the names or firm of Mboma’s legal representatives, but upon enquiry yesterday, coach Botha did confirm to this publication that the matter is now in the hands of their lawyers, who have been working hard to free the athlete from the contract with that agency.
This publication understands that the relationship between Mboma and the agency went south following a disagreement over the handling of her finances and various priorities that has to do with her career. The athlete has since been fighting to unshackle herself from Newton Sports Agency’s chains.
“I don’t know where you got that sensitive information, but I can, however, confirm that it is true. The matter is currently with our lawyers and I don’t really want to go too much into it, as it is now a legal issue. Unfortunately, we can’t give too much information at this stage, but once everything is sorted out, we will definitely release a full statement on the whole matter. For now, Mboma will continue to focus on her running and improving her times, while the lawyers take care of the other issues,” said Botha, who was speaking from the USA, where he is attending a short coaching course.
At last year’s Tokyo Olympics, at just 18 years of age, Mboma became the first-ever Namibian woman to win an Olympic medal and breaking a world U/20 and African senior record when she scooped a silver medal in the 200m final with a time of 21.81 seconds.
She would go on to win 200m gold at the 2021 World U/20 Championships and at the Diamond League final, improving her record mark to 21.78 seconds in the process. Last year, she also set a world U/20 and African senior record of 48.54 seconds in the 400m, which made her the seventh-fastest woman of all time at the event.