Although there are well stipulated guidelines to ensure that athletes are drug free when they compete in tournaments, BRU President Lesedi Keekae says Botswana is not well equipped to test and detect the use of substances because the country does not have an advanced lab to detect the substance that might have been consumed by athletes.
Speaking to this publication, Keekae stated that BRU periodically conducts doping awareness programs geared towards eliminating doping in sport and also to make athletes aware of what they take to avoid banned substances. “The BRU and its affiliates (clubs) invites the experts from the national agency to present to the players doping rules and regulations and to raise awareness on the use of banned substances without cross checking. We have taught our players to always check for banned substances before they take supplements,” Keekae explained.
However he says their plan to set up a committee responsible for educating BRU affiliates and players about doping is yet to see the light of day. He added that there are supplements that contain masking ingredients that hide the banned substances and the technical expertise will not be too quick to discover those hence the local office sends the samples outside the country for testing.
Supplements intake is common among sportspersons across different sporting codes around the world and posses danger to those using them. According to the Botswana National Anti-Doping Organisation (BONADO) rules – it is each Athlete’s personal duty to ensure that no prohibited substance enters his or her body.
Botswana has had 5 cases of doping; the affected athletes were two rugby players Lesedi Cherry and Emmanuel Ntshiwa, Amantle Montsho, Onalenna Baloyi and Lydia Jele.The Botswana Rugby Union (BRU) holds efficient anti doping campaigns to educate the players to reduce the use of substance for self enhancement.