Doping home allegations of cheating emerge at softball

Recent reports suggest that new two positive cases of doping have been reported in the country amid intense campaign by National Anti-Doping (NADO) unit to have zero cases of doping by local athletes.

The cases reported emanated from Botswana Softball Association (BSA) and samples are said to have been collected during the finals of Selibe Phikwe softball extravaganza which was held in July this year, with two male players (names withheld) returning positive results.

However, there has been no official comment from all relevant bodies involved, either to confirm or deny the reports.

Sun Sports investigations led to the office of the regional anti-doping organization (Southern Africa), Andrew Kamanga, who oversees some of the national anti-doping offices in the region, and he could not deny or confirm the reports.

“I have not received any information related to that and at this moment I cannot deny or confirm the reports, that’s all I can say for now,” Kamanga responded.

Botswana Softball Association President, Katlholo Mosimanegape also could not confirm the reports and stated that no official communication has been extended to them regarding the matter.

He stated that they have only seen the reports circulating on various social media platforms and are waiting to be formally engaged.

According to normal procedures, the association and the concerned individuals are notified first before the details are shared publicly.

“We’ve heard through social media, as BSA we have not been informed accordingly by the relevant office which deals with these cases. We have got no comment or official statement that we can make right now until we are duly informed,” Mosimanegape responded.

According to sources close to the developments, the fact that the communication processes appear to have been compromised in this matter, it makes the task for the relevant bodies to issue a statement a complicated exercise.

“The concerned individuals have to be notified together with the association; notice of allegations, and are given the right to respond within a certain period, and that has not been the case in the said cases. There are lots of legalities that must be followed when dealing with anti-doping cases and if things are not done properly it could complicate the case,” close sources revealed.

The Minister of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture, Tumiso Rakgare recently came out strong to warn athletes from doping and said the recent cases reported are a call for concern.

Delivering his speech during the athletics ceremony recently, Rakgare said, “we are recording an unprecedented number of doping cases. We have never had more than one (1) case in a year from athletics but this year to date we have already registered two (2).

What is it that we are not doing to achieve our target of zero adverse analytical findings by our athletes? Are you doing enough education as well as intelligence gathering? Whatever the case, the situation cannot be left to go unabated.”

The national anti-doping office has held a string of workshops this year to educate the leadership of various sporting codes on matters relating to doping.

This was in line with one of the objectives to spread the messages across board on the dangers of doping, sport associations have also been challenged to play a leading role to help reduce the number of growing positive cases recorded.