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Mbalula: SA anti-dope leaders

2013-06-27 17:30
Fikile Mbalula (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - South Africa is playing its part in ridding sport of drug cheats, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula said on Thursday in Johannesburg.

"This country has led Africa in the implementation of anti-doping strategies," Mbalula said after the announcement South Africa would host the World Conference on Doping in Sport in November.

"Our country is also the host of the only accredited Wada (World Anti-Doping Agency) laboratory on the African continent, based in Bloemfontein."

The key objective of the 2013 World Conference, to be held from November 12 to 15 in Sandton, Johannesburg, was to review the World Anti-Doping Code and to agree on a revised text which would come into effect on January 1, 2015.

"The eyes of the world will be on South Africa during the four days of deliberations, expecting as an outcome a good code that can take the fight against doping cheats forward," Wada Africa Regional Office director Rodney Swigelaar said.

"It will also afford South Africa the opportunity to showcase its resolve to eliminate doping from sport and exhibit their commitment to free and fair sport and to the health and well-being of its athletes."

Swigelaar said Africa was a key region in the global fight against doping in sport as the continent had produced many champion athletes and role models.

"While there still remains much work to do in the region, the commitment from our African stakeholders is clear and the leadership role South Africa has assumed in this regard, indisputable," Swigelaar said.

Mbalula said South Africa's contribution to anti-doping internationally and on the continent qualified it to host the four-day conference, after Wada had also received bids from Dallas, United States and Sochi in Russia.

"This is a historic event as it is the first time a conference of this magnitude will be held on African soil," he said.

South Africa would nominate former sports minister Makhenkesi Stofile for the position of vice-chairman of Wada for the 2014-2016 term.

Stofile previously served on the Wada executive committee and foundation board during his term as sports minister.

"He, therefore, has the requisite experience, skill and motivation to serve as the vice-president," Mbalula said.

The conference would also be used to educate society against doping, especially in school sport, he said.

While there was not a prevalence of doping in the country, the SA Institute for Drug-free Sports (Saids) was looking to crack down on doping in schools.

"Our law does not allow us to undertake testing at a school level and this is part of the work Saids is doing in regulating that environment," he said.

Read more on:    fikile mbalula  |  doping

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