President Lieutenant General Dr Ian Khama Seretse Khama has warned local athletes who will represent the country at the coming 2016 Rio Olympic to play clean.
Khama said this during team Botswana’s send-off ceremony held at the Gaborone International Convention Centre this past Monday.
“Sport is riddled with reports of doping by athletes, sometimes assisted by their coaches and other support personnel to enhance performance. That is cheating! We as Botswana abhor this and it cannot be tolerated. I appeal to you to play clean sport and preserve the good name of our country,” Khama declared.
He warned that the position of government and Botswana sport is against doping.
“We will not tolerate doping,” Khama declared.
He further said doping in sport is unfair, unjust and unethical and violates the very principles of participation by the world sportsmen and women.
Concerning local athletes, President Khama said he was hopeful that the team will do well and add happiness to the country as it prepares for its silver jubilee celebrations.
“We will support you all the way. Go to the games and make us proud. We will all be watching you on television and when you step into the field, know that your parents, relatives and all Batswana are behind you,” he said.
President Khama who was handing over the flag to the team observed that in the maiden appearance in Moscow 1980, none of the country’s athletes made it beyond the preliminary stages. In 2012 Botswana had athletes in the finals and won the first Olympic silver medal.
One of the athletes, Nigel Amos who brought silver medal from the 2012 London Olympics said the team is training hard to make the country proud.
“We are training hard and we hope to bring something that will make the country proud,” said the optimistic Amos. The 2012 silver medalist said he is hoping that by the time they competition starts he will be ready.
Asked whether he is under pressure to bring medal home he said “I am not under pressure and qualifying for the second time for the Olympics is a big achievement and I am training hard to win make the nation happy.”
Local Organizing Committee chairperson, Marumo Morule appreciated government support for helping the team during their preparations. Marumo said if they did not win anything it will not be anybody at fault but other circumstances that may arise. He said the government support from the country’s leadership is giving the team courage to compete and do better.
Brazilian ambassador to Botswana, Ricado Diniz assured the athletes the nation and the athletes that they will be free from the Zika virus.