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Oct 15 18

Ministerial inquiry: D-day for Sascoc

by ZwemZa

Sascoc president Gideon Sam speaks during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Olympic House on June 09, 2018 in Johannesburg.
Image: Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images

The SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) board will meet its lawyers on Sunday to draft a response to the findings and recommendations of a ministerial committee of inquiry.

Sport and Recreation Minister Tokozile Xasa has given the beleaguered Olympic governing body until Friday to make its submissions.

This will be its response to the final report on the findings and recommendations of the Zulman Commission of Inquiry, established by Xasa’s predecessor, Thulas Nxesi, to probe allegations of misconduct within Sascoc.

Sascoc was initially given 14 days to respond to the damning report when it was handed to the sports department late last month, but Xasa granted them an extension, her spokesperson Vuyo Mhaga confirmed on Friday.

The deadline lapsed on Wednesday, the day the Sascoc board met to discuss the report – believed to be scathing about Sascoc president Gideon Sam and the federation’s axed chief executive, Tubby Reddy.

City Press – through those who are privy to the contents of the report – has established that the report is critical of Sam’s “dictatorial style of management”.

It also highlights the wasteful expenditure by board members, who pocketed in the region of R2.2 million in annual allowances.

The report did not spare accounting officer Reddy, who, with other board members, was accused of focusing on bickering while the core business of Sascoc, the wellbeing of athletes, was neglected.

When contacted for comment, Sam referred City Press to his vice-president, Barry Hendricks.

Hendricks responded via SMS: “We are meeting the legal person to discuss a draft response on Sunday.

“We’ll send it to the Sascoc board for ratification thereafter and then to the minister, International Olympic Committee [IOC], International Paralympic Committee [IPC] and Commonwealth Games Federation [CWGF]. Extension was granted to
October 19.”

He refused to share the contents of the Zulman report, saying: “We will have to wait for the minister to do that.

“The board met on Wednesday on the matter and we had consultations and sought advice with the IOC, CWGF and IPC,” Hendricks explained.

Mhaga was also reluctant to comment further, saying the minister’s “views will be made public when she makes the report public”.

The ministerial inquiry was established over a year ago to investigate allegations of maladministration and financial irregularities at Sascoc.

The inquiry was chaired by retired Judge Ralph Zulman on a panel that also had former cricket administrator Ali Bacher and labour law expert Shamima Gaibie as members.

During the three-week hearings at Ellis Park Stadium, which ended in March, explosive testimony came to the fore from former and current Sascoc board members, as well as some of the federation’s employees.

The evidence put before Zulman during the hearings also brought to the surface the animosity between Sam and Reddy.

During his submission to the inquiry, Reddy admitted his relationship with his boss had “deteriorated rapidly” over the past couple of years.

He also alleged that Sam manipulated constitutional clauses relating to the eligibility of nominees ahead of the Sascoc elections two years ago.

The battle between Reddy and Sascoc is far from over as the two are set to face off at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) in a hearing that will sit from tomorrow to Wednesday.

Reddy is taking Sascoc to the CCMA for unfair dismissal after being axed in January following a disciplinary hearing in December, which he did not attend.

The report is expected to be made public at the end of the month or early next month, according to government insiders.

“It effectively says the Sascoc board is dysfunctional and members must vacate their positions. The recommendations cannot be changed,” said our source.

Oct 15 18

Robben Island swim raises R70k

by ZwemZa

Oneida Cooper (You Tube)

Former national swimmer Oneida Cooper spared a thought of praise for former Robben Island political prisoners after raising R70000 for her non-profit swim school when she completed a swim from the island to Bloubergstrand on Sunday.

“I don’t think there are any words that can describe the feeling of knowing what my father (Dr Saths Cooper) and other political prisoners went through on the island, knowing their freedom was not guaranteed and my knowing that I was swimming for what they have guaranteed and that is freedom for South Africa,” said 25-year-old Oneida.

She and eight supporters began their stamina-sapping swim at 7am to raise funds for her Making Waves Together South Africa NPO swimming school in Johannesburg.

Conditions had not been favourable, with 3m swells throughout their swim, she said.

“It was a very tough 2.5km at the start and I wanted to stop. From there I had another four times that I pleaded with them to take me out of the water.

Brother

“If it wasn’t for my brother, Athisten Cooper, my family and friends, and my eight fellow swimmers as well as all the people who donated money to the swim, I would not have been able to pull through.

“We raised about R70000 and definitely see this amount rising.

“Our fundraising does not stop because the swim is over.

“We’ll continue to fundraise,” Oneida said.

She thanked everyone who had been part of her Making Waves Together South Africa NPO fundraiser, which was the first of many accomplishments that were to follow.

Oneida launched Making Waves Together South Africa last year to teach children, as well as adults, to swim.

Her previous swimming achievements include representing South Africa at the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games in India and the All Africa Junior Championships in 2009, as well as having swam at the Youth Olympics and the Mare Nostrum Series in 2010.

Oct 15 18

YOG BA 2018: Colombia gets gold in an epic final

by ZwemZa

In a very unpredictable final, Daniel Restrepo from Colombia, was the surprising winner of the men’s 3m springboard final, the second event of the diving competition at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires. Only sixth after the preliminaries, the 2018 junior world champion presented a programme with a total DD of 18.0 for five dives. The problem with difficult dives is that you have to execute them right to justify the option for a riskier presentation. The 18-year-old Colombian not only did them well, but he could also benefit from his main challengers’ weak points.

After the morning session, Lian Junjie (CHN) was the leader in 573.10, and seemed the natural favourite for the victory. Until tonight’s event, China had won all the individual finals at the previous two editions of the Youth Olympic Games, plus the women’s 10m platform on the first day in the Argentinean capital. A total of nine wins without opposition was the outstanding roll of honour for the Asian delegation.

Anthony Harding (GBR)

Until Lian’s first dive in today’s final. Presenting a forward 2 ½ somersaults 2 twists (pike), the Chinese athlete lost the balance when jumping on the board and his feet touched the left side of it before the take-off. The entire flight section of the dive was affected and entry was of course catastrophic. The astonished crowd could not believe on the scoreboard display: 0 points. The idea of a medal vanished in that precise moment.

This hiccup made the final an open field for the remaining competitors. Second after the prelims, Anthony Harding (GBR) seemed in a good position to eventually win the gold, but he lacked one very important thing: risk. Higher Degree of Difficulty. Always very regular in his dives, his total of DD was 15.8, much less than Restrepo. This was the key for the outcome in today’s final.

With a total of 559.50, Harding earned silver and recognised this weak point. “This was in fact what was missing. But it was an option done by my coach together with me. I have more difficult dives in my programme, but we haven’t presented them here. However, I am very happy on the way this final unfolded. I was not expecting this outcome”, confessed the 18-year-old.

Rusland Ternovoi (RUS)

The bronze went to Ruslan Ternovoi (RUS), in 551.20. An excellent result for the European diver, who was ninth after the heats. His final dive was decisive for this successful outcome. Performing a reverse 1 ½ somersaults with 3 ½ twists (DD 3.5), he got marks from 8.0 to 8.5 for a total of 84.00.

Matthew Carter, from Australia, third after the morning competition, could not reach the podium, concluding in fourth. Also presenting a difficult programme, he had serious problems with a 109C (forward 4 ½ somersaults, tuck), a circumstance that definitively dictated his fate in the final.

“I wasn’t expected this result. Despite my world title, I didn’t think so much in the medal, but rather in improving my personal best. But, step by step, I managed to get there”, confessed the Colombian gold medallist.

“It’s true I had a very high DD, you risk a lot, but with good training and sacrifice, these dives become a routine, the body gets used to them, they become easier to perform”, he added. When asked if a new Colombian diving icon is born, after Orlando Duque (one of the most well-known high divers in the planet), Restrepo could not avoid a smile: “The world will know me. I hope the people will see me at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. I have to work a lot, but it’s one of my main goals. But if I don’t get there this time, there are still Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028”.

The men’s 3m springboard podium

“Today, I wasn’t expecting the failure of my Chinese colleague. He missed the first dive, then succeeded in the rest of the competition. But I’ve also done well. I didn’t win because he failed, I performed myself very well”, he confessed. “I train in Medellin, where they support me a lot. In Colombia, however, we don’t have a venue like this – we have an outdoor pool, and the boards don’t have these conditions. We want the authorities to support us, and I hope my success will help on this”, he continued.

“I will surely have a lot of media attention in Colombia – I will do it, not just because I have to do it, but because I like to do it. I like to stress out that sport is the solution for many problems and for many challenges the youth is facing nowadays”, Restrepo concluded.

Pedro Adrega, FINA Communications Department

Oct 15 18

YOG BA 2018: “Grab your chance, aim high!”

by ZwemZa

In the pool deck, as a member of the FINA Technical Diving Committee, she remains discreet, making sure with her colleagues that everything is in place for the optimal organisation of the diving events at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires (ARG). She is happy to be on the “other side” of the curtain, after an amazing career that ended after the 2016 Olympics in Rio 2016. By then, she had accumulated five Games’ gold medals and had been 10 times on the podium (including six on the highest march) of the FINA World Championships. She is one of the best divers in history: Chen Ruolin, from China.

Competing at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona (ESP)

Competing in 10m platform, she earned gold in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics in Beijing and London, respectively, in the individual and synchro event. In Brazil, two years ago, she partnered with Liu Huixia and obtained a last title in the 10m platform synchro. Shortly after, she announced her retirement. In her 10 successful years as a top-level athlete (she first shone at the 2006 FINA World Cup, with the gold in the 10m synchro event), she also collected 10 medals at the FINA showcase, from 2007 to 2015, including five consecutive titles in the synchro competition. She is, along with 3m springboard queen Guo Jingjing, one of the most recognisable faces in Chinese diving and certainly one of the world icons of the discipline.

In 2014, at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing (CHN), she was chosen as the last torch bearer of the Olympic flame, confirming her status of Chinese star. “I was very excited to have the Youth Olympic Games in our country. As the last torch bearer, I felt very honoured to be in that position and it is still an exceptional memory for me!”, confesses Chen.

Meeting old friends in Buenos Aires: Rommel Pacheco (MEX), on the left, and Roseline Filion (CAN), on the right

Despite not having competed in this event, the Chinese great considers that it is “an excellent opportunity for the younger athletes”. And she proceeds: “If the time could go back, I would very much appreciate competing in the YOG. It is very important that this competition exists, as it can gather athletes from this age group, who don’t have so many opportunities to compete internationally at this level. It’s a terrific experience for these athletes, as they are also aware of the Olympic ideals from an early stage”.

Elected “FINA Best Female Diver of the Year” in 2010, Chen has no doubts that the YOG can be a good platform to the young divers: “It’s a continuous progress, a step-by-step road, in which you acquire more experience and you improve your condition. You get more mature, and your development is progressing”, she says.

Gold at the 2012 Olympics in London (GBR)

As an inspirational model for all those competing in Buenos Aires, she gives her philosophy on how to succeed in such a demanding sport: “Try always your best, not only to get medals, but also gold medals. Aim always high, grab you chance, so that your country can also be proud of your achievements”. And for the ones that may doubt of their performances, she leaves a wise advice: “Everything is possible! Each and every athlete competing here has his/her chance. Not only the ones getting a medal, but all of them”.

Besides being part of the FINA Technical Diving Committee, Chen is also trying to give her precious contribution to the development of diving in China, the world powerhouse in the discipline. “After I retired, I went to university to study Administration Management. Now, I am starting working on this area with the staff leading our sport in China. It’s a good opportunity and I am happy to be helping in this area”, she concludes.

Pedro Adrega, FINA Communications Department

Oct 15 18

Michael Houlie made history at Youth Olympics with swimming gold

by ZwemZa

Michael Houlie won gold in the 50m breaststroke at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires. Photo: Ian Walton/IOC/EPA-EFE

The South African team has reason to be satisfied with their performance in the first week at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, having won three medals.

The two gold and a silver are already an improvement on their performance from the 2014 Nanjing Games, where they could only manage one podium place.

They got their campaign off to an emphatic start, with Amber Schlebusch winning the country’s first gold medal in the triathlon.

On Saturday, flag-bearer Michael Houlie become the first person of colour to win an individual medal in the pool at a major multi-sport event after bagging the 50m breaststroke gold medal.

Schlebusch turned in a gutsy performance coming from behind in the swim-cycle-run event to claim the victory.

The 17-year-old from Durban produced the fastest running leg, crossing the line in a time of 58 minutes 47 seconds which ultimately won her the title.

“I’m in this sort of disbelief right now; it feels amazing and I really can’t believe it,” Schlebusch said.

“Now I can say, ‘I’m the Youth Olympic champion’. It’s a pretty good title to have, so I’m really stoked.

“It was a bad swim, but then I caught up on the run. I’m really happy to end up feeling so strong.”

Houlie brushed off the disappointment from Tuesday, where he missed out on a medal in the 100m breaststroke final after taking the race out too fast, only to finish in fifth place.

More adept over the sprint distance, Houlie smashed into the wall in his favoured 50m breaststroke event in a time of 27.51 seconds for the title.

He denied China’s Jiajun Sun the 50-100m breaststroke double, touching ahead of him.

Sun posted a time of 27.85 for second, with Canada’s Alexander Milanovich taking bronze in 27.87.

Duné Coetzee became the first South African female to medal in the pool at the Youth Games, winning silver in the 200m butterfly.

She posted a new South African age-group record, clocking 2:11.71.

“It has been one of my lifelong dreams to become a Youth Olympic champion, so definitely dreamt about this moment,” Coetzee said.

“I actually only remember the moments after the race, and when I received my medal and seeing my parents. Everything was amazing, and I can’t actually explain the feeling.”

Sunday Independent

Oct 14 18

Death of Patrick Baumann, IOC Member

by ZwemZa

Patrick Baumann (Getty Images)

It is with the greatest sorrow and shock that the International Olympic Committee has learned of the death of Mr Patrick Baumann, IOC Member in Switzerland, in Buenos Aires. He was 51.

Patrick Baumann was a central figure in the Olympic Movement.

A former player, coach and referee, Patrick Baumann dedicated his life to basketball and to the sports community. He was Deputy Secretary General (1995-2002) of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), and then unanimously appointed as Secretary General by the FIBA Central Board in 2002, a role he had held since. He was greatly instrumental in the transformation and growth of the sport in the international basketball community, successfully supporting the popularisation of 3×3 basketball, for instance.

IOC President Thomas Bach said: “This is a great shock, which has hit us all very hard. We can hardly believe this terrible news. Particularly since, even today, we have seen him working hard, as we always knew him, for the sport he loved. We lose a young and sympathetic leader full of hope who was standing for the future of sport. Our thoughts are with his wife, his children and his family.”

To honour the memory of Patrick Baumann, the IOC President has asked for the Olympic flag to be flown at half-mast at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne and at the IOC headquarters at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires for three days. The IOC will also hold a memorial in the Youth Olympic Village.

An IOC Member since 2007, he had been recently appointed as a member (2016-2017) then Chair (2017) of the Evaluation Commission for the Games of XXXIII Olympiad in 2024, then Vice-Chair of the Coordination Commission for the Games of XXXIII Olympiad Paris 2024 after the French capital won the right to host the Olympic Games 2024. He was also Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission Los Angeles 2028, helping the two host cities to work closely with each other.

A Swiss national, Patrick Baumann was also President of the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee.

Patrick Baumann had continuously and actively participated in the IOC’s development throughout his mandate, as a member in the following IOC Commissions: Evaluation for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad in 2008 (as an IF representative) (2000-2001), Coordination for the Games of the XXX Olympiad London 2012 (2007-2012), International Relations (2008-2014), Sport and Law (2010-2014), Evaluation for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in 2020 (2013), Entourage (2014-2015), Marketing (2014-), Athletes’ Entourage (2015-2018) and Legal Affairs (2017-2018).

Able to speak five languages, Patrick Baumann had a remarkable academic record: an MBA from the Business School of the University of Chicago, a Master’s in Sports Administration Management (MEMOS) from the University of Lyon in France and a law degree from the University of Lausanne.

A man of numerous talents, as a lawyer he always demonstrated a great sense of responsibility: he was appointed to the International Advisory Board of the World Academy of Sport in 2009, had been a member of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS) since 2010, and was also a member of the Executive Committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Patrick Baumann was elected as a Council member of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) in 2011 and re-elected in 2015; he was elected as President of the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) in 2016; and as President of SportAccord in 2017.

The IOC expresses its deepest sympathies to Mr Baumann’s family.

olympic.org

Oct 14 18

Britain’s Lucy Charles breaks course swimming record before winning silver at Ironman World Championship

by ZwemZa

Lucy Charles celebrates after the Englishwoman won silver at the Ironman World Championships Credit: GETTY IMAGES

Lucy Charles won a second successive silver medal at the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii on Saturday on what was a record-breaking day at the 42nd edition of the event.

Charles broke the course swimming record in Kona with a time of 48mins 48secs, but slower times in the cycling and running legs saw the 25-year-old well beaten by Swiss defending champion Daniela Ryf.

Ryf, in fact, added a fourth successive title to her collection after setting a new course record of 8hrs 26mins 16secs, while Charles finished just over 10 minutes back – 8hrs 36mins 32secs – while Anne Haug was third at 8hrs 41mins 52secs.

In the men’s race, it was another day a record-breaking racing as Patrick Lange of Germany retained his title with a new course best time of 7hrs 52mins 39secs – easily beating the previous mark of 8hrs 1min 40secs.

Bart Aernouts of Belgium finished second while Scotland’s David McNamee finished third.

Pro Men:
Patrick Lange (DEU)
Bart Aernouts (BEL)
David McNamee (GBR)
Tim O’Donnell (USA)
Braden Currie (NZL)

Pro Women:
Daniela Ryf (CHE)
Lucy Charles (GBR)
Anne Haug (DEU)
Sarah True (USA)
Mirinda Carfrae (AUS)

telegraph.co.uk

Oct 14 18

ASADA chief executive calls for independent WADA bullying probe in wake of Scott claims

by ZwemZa

Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority chief executive David Sharpe is calling on the World Anti-Doping Agency to have bullying allegations within its own executive independently investigated (Courier Mail)

Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) chief executive David Sharpe has called on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to have bullying allegations within its own executive independently investigated.

Sharpe’s calls come in the wake of claims made by WADA Athlete Committee chair Beckie Scott that she was “bullied” by Olympic Movement officials at the meeting which saw the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) controversially reinstated.

Scott told BBC Sport that she was “disrespected” by members of WADA’s Executive Committee in the Seychelles.

The Canadian resigned from the Compliance Review Committee (CRC) overseeing the potential return of RUSADA when it recommended that the scandal-hit nation should be allowed back.

This decision was rubber-stamped by WADA Executive Committee members who voted 9-2 in favour of reinstatement on September 20.

Sharpe said in a statement that “bullying has no place in society and it is abhorrent to contemplate that a respected figure such as Ms Scott has faced such alleged behaviour from senior officials within WADA”.

United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) head Travis Tygart has also supported Scott, claiming yesterday her comments present a “damning and accurate reflection of the fragile state of the WADA-led global anti-doping system”.

RUSADA had been non-compliant with WADA since 2015 when allegations of state sponsored doping in the country first emerged, but sporting officials from the Olympic Movement had pressed for this to be reversed.

This was granted despite two key criteria of WADA’s roadmap for reinstatement not being met.

David Sharpe’s calls come in response to claims by World Anti-Doping Agency Athlete Committee chair Beckie Scott that she was “treated with disrespect” and “bullied” by senior figures within the organisation ©Getty Images

Scott, a former cross-country skier and Olympic champion who previously sat on the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Athlete Commission, told BBC Sport that she felt “pressure” attending the Seychelles meeting.

The Olympic Movement representatives on the WADA Executive Committee are Italy’s Francesco Ricci Bitti, Turkey’s Ugur Erdener, Switzerland’s Patrick Baumann, Czech Republic’s Jiri Kejval and Slovakia’s Danka Bartekova.

Russia has been accused of the systematic manipulation of the doping system at their home Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, with the IOC forcing them to compete under a neutral flag at Pyeongchang 2018 in February.

The country remains suspended by the International Association of Athletics Federations and the International Paralympic Committee, but the IOC’s ban on the Russian Olympic Committee was lifted immediately after Pyeongchang.

Russia had been asked to fully accept the McLaren Report, which outlined much of the evidence against them, and allow full access to the Moscow Laboratory before RUSADA could be allowed back.

A “compromise” deal was instead reached after the CRC claimed that a letter from Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov – which stated the country “fully accepted the decision of the IOC Executive Board that was made based on the findings of the Schmid Report” – satisfied the first requirement.

The Schmid Report largely substantiates the McLaren Report as it outlines the involvement of Russian Ministry officials in the state-sponsored doping scheme, but its language is not as strong.

A “commitment” from Russia to provide data and access to the samples stored at the Moscow Laboratory via an independent expert met the second criteria, the CRC said.

However, the reinstatement has been met with outcry from various athlete groups and other bodies.

WADA has said its President Sir Craig Reedie has responded to a letter from Scott stating that her concerns were being taken seriously.

“It is currently clear that strong and divergent views from different sections of the anti-doping community, as well as the public debate, do affect the tone and atmosphere of these meetings,” a WADA spokesman said.

Daniel Etchells | Inside the Games

 

Oct 14 18

Kenya officials charged in Olympic corruption inquiry

by ZwemZa

Former Sports Minister Hassan Wario is one of the seven to face corruption charges (AFP/Getty)

Seven senior Kenyan officials will be charged over alleged corruption surrounding the 2016 Olympic Games, the country’s chief prosecutor said.

Those accused include ex-Sports Minister Hassan Wario and former Olympic Committee head Kipchoge Keino, a two-time Olympic gold medallist.

Chief prosecutor Noordin Haji said they must turn themselves in by Monday.

More than 55m shillings ($545,542; £414,607) meant for the athletes was allegedly siphoned off.

“The impact of corruption and siphoning of funds meant for the facilitation of our sportsmen and women has a negative impact on their ability to perform optimally,” Mr Haji said in a statement.

Keino won his first Olympic gold in the 1,500m at the 1968 Games in Mexico City, and his second in the 3,000m steeplechase in Munich in 1972.

The 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro earned Kenya six gold and six silver medals as well as a bronze – the country’s best medal tally.

But claims of corruption against team bosses and government officials marred their success.

The charges are the latest in a series of corruption investigations in Kenya.

In May, Kenyan police arrested the head of a government youth agency over an alleged theft of 8bn Kenyan shillings ($78m; £59m).

President Uhuru Kenyatta pledged to fight corruption when he came to power in 2013.

BBC News

Oct 14 18

Positive doping tests at Craven Week ‘alarming’

by ZwemZa

Six players tested positive for anabolic steroids at the 2018 Craven Week‚ according to the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS).

Chief executive Khalid Galant revealed the worrying statistic at a presentation the organisation’s annual report to parliament this week.

Three schoolboy players were among seven positive doping tests in rugby between April 2017 and March 2018‚ which also revealed 46 adverse findings (positive dope tests) from 1‚659 tests across all sports.

Galant said the number of Anti-Doping Rule Violations (ADRVs) at schoolboy rugby level continues to be “alarming” and expressed concern at “the high tolerance of parents and coaches to doping practices”.

This is based on the 122 tests that were done during the 2018 Craven Week tournament and an alarming six players testing positive‚ all related to anabolic steroids. The corresponding number of positive tests in recent years was three in 2014‚ five in 2015‚ four in 2016 and three in 2017.

Earlier this year Galant wrote to school rugby tournament organisers explaining the SAIDS Clean School Sport Policy‚ in terms of which “anti-doping detection‚ deterrence and prevention strategies will be extended to include in-competition testing at selected school sport events and tournaments”.

“The individual participating schools are encouraged to schedule an anti-doping education session so that the learners‚ coaches and parents are aware of the drug testing process‚ what to expect‚ the dangers of doping‚ the risks of using dietary or sports supplements and the educational resources available to prevent falling foul of anti-doping regulations‚” he wrote.

SA Rugby said it was fully supportive of SAIDS and condemned the use of performance enhancing drugs in the sport.

“There is no place in rugby for cheating‚ which is exactly what the use of banned substances is‚ and we support SAIDS fully in this‚” an SA Rugby spokesperson said.

“The Coca-Cola Youth Weeks is the only time our best young players at school level can be tested.

“We are so committed to stamping out the use of banned substances‚ that we provide funding towards the testing of players at the Youth Weeks‚ as well as educating the players from U16 level.

“They need to know from early in their careers that there is not hiding place when it comes to using banned substances.”

SA Rugby has no jurisdiction over schoolboys outside of national weeks and the onus rests with parents and coaches to police anti-doping.

The report also revealed the following detail:

-A total of 1‚659 athletes were tested during the year.

-These included 1‚312 urine tests‚ 296 blood tests and 29 tests for EPO (erythropoietin).

-A total of 46 anti-doping rule violations (ADRVs) were detected during the period.

-A total of 23 tests were carried out on bodybuilders with 14 ADRVs‚ 11 of which were at one single competition – by far the highest in any single sports code.

-The most tested sports category in 2017-18 was athletics (including long-distance running)‚ with 546 tests and six ADRVs;

-The second-most tested category was a total of 391 tests amongst rugby union players‚ with seven ADRVs – three of which were from schoolboy-level players participating in the 2017 Craven Week Rugby tournament. The names of these players have not been made public as they are minors.

-The overall number of tests were partially restricted in the 2017-18 year after the SA Doping Control Laboratory in Bloemfontein lost its World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) accreditation. This meant that samples had to be couriered to WADA accredited laboratories overseas at a considerable cost. The laboratory is run entirely independently of SAIDS.

-A total of 126 Anti-Doping Education Events were conducted nationally during this period‚ covering a range of sports codes‚ from school to club‚ provincial and national level.

Craig Ray | Times Live

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