A group of top South African athletes appealed to the world governing body of track and field to end its boycott in time for them to compete in next month's World Championships.
The 22 athletes made their plea at a meeting with an International Amateur Athletic Federation delegation visiting South Africa to report on political change and the push for unity among sports bodies without discrimination by race.
A decision on the readmission of South Africa to international track is expected at the next meeting of the IAAF before the start of the World Championships.
A hard-line anti-apartheid sports group withdrew in protest from a delegation that will go to Switzerland to press for South Africa's return to Olympic competition.
The South African Council on Sport cited what it called the "watering down" of principles by other sports groups in their rush to rejoin international competition. The group opposes lifting of sports sanctions against South Africa until a new constitution ending white-minority rule is approved.