Sunday, October 25, 2020

Amantle Montsho’s fate to be known before end of this month

The hearing processes into the doping case of Botswana’s 800 metres sprint queen, Amantle Montsho, are ongoing.

After a lengthy period of what seemed inactivity, the hearing processes are now said to be underway with the verdict expected to be delivered before the end of this month. According to the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) President Moses Bantsi, a disciplinary committee made up of five people has already been appointed to look into the matter.

While refusing to shed light on who could be in the committee, the BAA President said the committee is made up of highly qualified people from various professions.

“For your information, we have among the committee members an attorney of law, a medical doctor, a sports medicine professional, a physiotherapists as well as a sports science professional who also happens to be a former athlete,” Bantsi explained.

The BAA President however said with so many local and international people interested in the case, the names of the disciplinary committee members cannot be revealed. Bantsi said the non-revelation of names of committee members is to ensure there is no unnecessary pressure on the committee members and thus to keep the integrity of the committee intact.

He however said the committee is totally made up of locals. Speaking in an interview, the BAA President said the committee was selected before the end of this past month and has already held a couple of meetings.

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) had given the BAA three months from the time they handed them the case to have set a committee and have a verdict ready for the IAAF.
On what took so long for the processes to begin, considering the three months period given by the IAAF to have resolved the issue, the BAA President said a lot of factors had to be taken into consideration before the processes could be undertaken.

“There were a lot of emotions involved in this case and we felt it would be unwise to proceed while emotions were still high. We wanted to allow everyone time to reflect and emotions to calm down before we could undertake this exercise,” Bantsi said.

He said another reason was to ensure thorough investigations are carried out before any disciplinary actions are undertaken.

“This is not just a question of whether banned substances were caught in the samples of the concerned athlete, but rather what could have happened and whether this was an intentional or unintentional thing,” Bantsi explained.

Montsho, a former World and Commonwealth women’s 800 champion tested positive for a banned stimulant methylhexaneamine on July 29 this year during the women’s 800 metres finals at the Glasgow 2014 commonwealth games.

Her subsequent sample B test carried also tested positive for the banned substance, prompting the athlete to accept the findings. Montsho has since been slapped with a provisional suspension and is facing a potential two year ban from athletics. The case was referred to the BAA towards the end of August to impose sanctions after the athlete had accepted the findings.

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