Monday, October 26, 2020

Botswana hopes to comply with anti-doping regulations

Botswana hopes to complete anti-doping Corrective Action Plans (CAPs) as well as meet requirements of the draft national anti-doping regulations before the end of this month.

This was revealed by Botswana’s representative at the Africa Zone VI Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO) Moses Moruisi.

The revelation follows a virtual meeting held by the Zone VI RADO members on the 11th of this month (August).

Among the virtual meeting participants were World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) representatives from the Africa Office and Headquarters in Montreal. 

Other than Botswana, attendees included representatives of countries such as Angola, Eswatini, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. 

At the meeting, members resolved that ‘member countries should finalize all their CAPs by the end of August 2020.’

The CAPs are the measures put in place to correct shortfalls on creating anti-doping structures and regulations as well as timelines when they should have completed such.

The meeting also determined that member countries ‘should submit their draft national anti-doping rules in line with the 2021 World Anti-Doping code by the end of August 2020.’

With the Regional Anti-Doping Organisation due to be obsolete ‘with effect from 01 January 2021,’ members are expected to be fully compliant by the 31st of December this year.

Should a member not be compliant ‘through their own national anti-doping rules’ at the start of January next year, they will be expected to incur some sanctions from WADA.

Another issue discussed during the virtual meeting included COVID-19 updates from member countries with regard to return to sporting activities and the resumption of doping control testing.

Commenting on Botswana’s readiness to meet the set deadlines, Moruisi said the country is well on track.

Moruisi, said before lockdown, Botswana’s National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO) was on the final stages of completing the CAPs.

“The lockdown has just been waived so the NADO will be able to finalise their CAPs,” explained Moruisi, who is also the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) 1st vice president. “NADO is left with a few tests to complete then the CAPs will be completed.” 

As for development of the national anti-doping rules, Moruisi pointed out that the country was at an advanced stage to have its own rules.

“NADO has already shared its first draft of national anti-doping regulations with WADA and they (WADA) have since sent them back for corrections,” he explained. 

“Based on the progress that is already been done NADO will meet all their deadlines,” an optimistic Moruisi said.

Meanwhile, the BNOC 1st vice president noted that the resumption of doping tests was delayed by the ongoing fight against the coronavirus pandemic. 

As the virus is highly communicable, Moruisi said the solution is to acquire protective personal equipment (PPE) for people who will test the athletes and WADA will be expected to reimburse the costs. 

He said this is in line with the board mission to protect the health of the athletes and sample collection personnel in the doping control process.

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