Minister of Youth Sports and Culture (MYSC), Vincent Seretse, has warned local athletes to stay away from doping.
He raised this concern during a welcome ceremony for Botswana athletes who just returned from the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China and Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
The ceremony was held at the Gaborone International Conference Centre (GICC). He urged athletes never to accept to take any drugs from people especially when they are representing the nation in a foreign country.
He said his ministry is going to avail resources to fight this growing trend amongst local athletes.
“We adhere to rules and regulations set by the world anti doping agency,” he said.
“We cannot sit back and fold our arms on this burning issue, because we want to groom clean, free and fair athletes.”
Seretse encouraged Karabo Sibanda and Baboloki Thebe to look up to the likes of Nijel Amos who is currently one of the best runners in the world. Amos, who was present at the welcoming ceremony, recently minted a gold medal at the recent commonwealth games. “It feels great to be on top of the world,” Amos said.
The warning comes after one of Botswanas favourite athletes, Amantle Montsho, failed a doping test recently at the just ended Commonwealth Games which were held in Glasgow, Scotland.
The former 400m World and Commonwealth Games champion, who now faces a two-year ban after her B sample drugs test from the Commonwealth Games came back positive.
Montsho, 31, is on provisional suspension after her A sample failed a doping test after the 400m final. The Botswana athlete, who finished fourth, accepted the result.
The Commonwealth Games Federation has passed its results to the relevant international federations so a decision on a ban can be made. The Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) recently met over Montsho to map a way forward.
Caroline Gartland, a counsellor at Botswana Substance Abuse Support Network (BOSASNET) said that there are deep emotional problems that may influence a person to take drugs. She said doping is still a new phenomenon in Botswana that is still hard to monitor.