BNOC seeks funds for anti-doping office

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Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) programme officer Andrew Kamanga has said they are waiting for government's response to their request to help finance the proposed Anti-Doping Office. He said that they have made a presentation to the government to help them in setting up the office and though the response has been delayed, they cannot complain because they want to do things the right way.

Kamanga revealed that BNOC is currently facing financial constraints as far as setting up the office is concerned. He said they need money to pay subscription fees to World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to get affiliation and to finance consultative workshops for players and officials. Kamanga said it is imperative for players to know their rights in regard to testing. He stated that in as much as sports need to be protected against use of performance enhancing drugs, there is need for protection of athletes' rights. He said they are yet to meet with all stakeholders. "We have already met with the Department of Sports and Recreation and we are yet to meet with Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC)," he told Mmegi Sport. Anti-doping issues in Botswana are currently taken care of by BNOC.

However, Kamanga said they are not responsible for testing players as they do not have professionals trained for the purpose. He said they only facilitate the testing of players by WADA and Regional Anti-Doping Office (RADO) for Zone VI. "When we prepare our athletes for competitions, we sometimes invite WADA and RADO officials," he said.

Kamanga said they need much more than an office to operate. Though he would not say exactly when the office would be in place, he believes it will be up and running before the end of the year. However, he said the unavailability of the office would not stop them from performing their anti-doping duties. He said once the office is established, they would start training doctors who would test players. Botswana would be the third country to have an anti-doping office in southern Africa after South Africa and Mozambique. 

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