Former Ghana national athlete, Margaret Simpson has denied photo making rounds on social media which sought to portray her selling palm oil, but admitted to Citi Sports she sells sunflower oil to make a living.
Social media was awash with photos of the 2012 African Championship Gold Medalist on Tuesday, after she granted an interview to Michael Darko (Don Summer Sports) of Angel FM saying she had been forced to sell palm oil for a living.
Among the photos was one of a woman pouring palm oil from a yellow gallon, giving the impression it was Margaret.
But she told Citi Sports in an interview the picture was not of her.
“That photo is not me. The interview was done at the stadium and there was no point where I poured palm oil for them to take a picture,” she began.
“In any case, I don’t sell palm oil. I sell sunflower oil so that could not possibly be me,” she said.
Simpson also claims the Ministry of Youth and Sports owes her $5000 in promised competition bonuses from the 2012 African Championships in Porto Novo, Benin where she won a gold medal in the women’s javelin throw event.
She wants government to pay up so she can take care of her sick mother.
“They promised the money before the competition but after we won, they never paid up. My mother is really sick at the moment and she requires at least two visits to the hospital every week. I need that money so I can take care of her.
“I have called the sports minister [Isaac Asiamah] and even sent a letter. He said they were working on it, but that was months ago and still nothing. I’m pleading with them to pay my money,” she told Citi Sports.
In one of her earliest international senior performances, she placed fourth at the 1999 All-Africa Games. She was the junior champion at the 1999 African Junior Athletics Championships, but failed to finish in the event at the 2000 World Junior Championships in Athletics.
She was selected for the heptathlon at the 2001 World Championships in Athletics and placed 13th overall. Senior success came the following year as she took the bronze medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games and then won the heptathlon gold medal at the 2002 African Championships in Athletics. She failed to finish at the 2003 World Championships in Athletics. In 2004, Simpson became African Champion for a second time and followed this result with a ninth place at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Simpson reached the global podium for the first time at the 2005 World Championships in Athletics, taking third place with the second best performance of her career with a tally of 6375 points. She had set a personal best of 6423 points at the Hypo-Meeting earlier that season. She missed the 2006 season but returned the year after with a gold medal performance at the 2007 All-Africa Games.
She failed to finish at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics later that season. She missed all of the 2008 season after this. She was off form in 2009 and registered a season’s best of 5872 points at the Meeting International d’Arles. She was back to good form at the 2010 African Championships in Athletics, where she won a third heptathlon title in a score of 6031 points. She also managed eighth in the high jump for African at the 2010 IAAF Continental Cup.
She won the 2011 edition of the Multistars meeting in Desenzano del Garda with a score of 6270 points, defeating the 2010 champion Marina Goncharova. She was fourteenth at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics and won a third straight title at the 2011 All-Africa Games. She won the African Combined Events Championships in both 2011 and 2012.
She withdrew from the heptathlon at the 2012 Summer Olympics due to a kidney infection.
Simpson is renowned for her strong javelin throw, her personal best in which is 56.36 metres.