According to World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) statistics, there was a 45% recorded reduction in anti-doping testing around the world compared with 2019.
In the first quarter of 2021, the situation was better with 20% reduction in overall testing compared with the same three months of 2019.
With athletes already being troubled by the Covid-19 pandemic, the doping bans in Tokyo Olympics overwhelmed the event which was conducted under scrutiny during the pandemic.
On account to the anti-doping rule violations, the Africa Zone VI Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO) member countries have been applauded for clean sport, from the recently held Olympics.
The efforts have been hailed as a massive step forward by Africa Zone VI RADO manager, Andrew Kamanga.
“We did not have any athletes from the Africa Zone VI RADO being disqualified prior to and during the Summer Olympic Games on account of anti-doping rule violations. Of course, they are some athletes with long standing periods of ineligibility imposed upon them for anti-doping rule violations for previous years”
The Africa Zone VI RADO Members countries of Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe have acquitted themselves in terms of implementing Code-compliant anti-doping programmes.
However he admits that Africa Zone VI has had anti-doping rule violations in a few member countries before the Olympic Games and the results management processes for the cases have been finalized by the RADO and some by its partners, the Athletics Integrity Unit(AIU).
“The Athletes concerned are currently serving periods of ineligibility from all competitive sports. Our numbers are relatively low compared to other regions of the world. Within the region, all member countries benefit from technical assistance from the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) who have, over the years, accumulated diverse and rich experience in the fight against doping in sport with qualified and skilled experts who provide support,” he noted
Kamanga added that Zone VI RADO need to upscale doping control testing in all member countries to ensure a rigorous and robust testing programme. The programme according to the manager will act as a deterrent for those who might be tempted to engage in doping activities.
He observed that the Play True Campaigns and the Values-based Education initiatives during face-to-face interactions and on the Anti-Doping E-Learning (ADEL) platform have assisted greatly in terms of keeping Athletes well informed about their rights as well as obligations on matters related to Clean Sport.
“Behavioural change is a process and not an event and the Africa Zone VI RADO will continue to work with Member Country Representatives (MCRs), national, regional and international partners to promote Clean Sport, free from the use of performance-enhancing substances and methods,” he said.