BNOC PLEADS ATHLETES TO STOP THE USE of SUPPLEMENTS

Another local runner tests positive for a banned substance

LETLHOGILE MPUANG

Orange

The Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) have come out to strongly condemn the use of body supplements by local athletes. This comes after yet another ‘promising’ Motswana runner was confirmed to have tested positive for a banned substance. Issues of doping have proved to be one of the biggest concerns in the world of sports today. In recent years, the number of athletes who have been banned, as a result of testing positive in doping tests has risen very high. Botswana has also been amongst the many countries to have been hit by this effect.
Former 400meters world champion Amantle Montsho was one of the early casualties in 2014, when she was proved to have intoxicated a prohibited substance during the Commonwealth games in Glasgow. Despite her getting a ‘strong’ two year ban from competitions, two other local athletes from Rugby were also confirmed to have followed suit, and were handed a similar ban last year. The BNOC last week Friday called an emergency press briefing to announce that there was another athlete, who had tested positive, following tests which had been conducted last month in Francistown.
“As Botswana we have done a lot to educate our national team athletes on issues of anti doping. We have made an open invitation to our national teams to come and educate them on these issues, whenever they are on camp or having competitions. However we are still worried that we are getting doping cases,” BNOC CEO Tuelo Serufho said.
He continued in saying, “ To date, we have had four cases, where our athletes have been sanctioned. Recently, we have heard about one case of a local runner, where a banned substance is said to have been detected from his sample. The case of this particular athlete is still undergoing the result management process, in which upon conclusion we shall be notified the outcome. We are expecting anything, whether it be a sanction, and the athlete is banned to compete,” he continued.
Though Serufho was cagey on revealing that particular athlete, he revealed that the individual is a male in this case, and fortunately is not part of those in camp for the upcoming Commonwealth games.
“What we have made clear is that we do not encourage the use of supplements, we are not saying these supplements are wrong, but there are quite a number of reasons why we do not tolerate body supplements. You might find a case where supplements are mislabelled, and you are not going to get away with it because such. The other reason why we do not tolerate them is because, some of them are manufactured by companies that also manufacture other banned substances, and there is always a risk of your supplement being contaminated,” stressed the CEO.
“So this is why we do not encourage our athletes to use them. Our position is that athletes should rather lean to a healthy diet. We believe that could serve a similar or better purpose than the supplements route, because honestly taking supplements in Botswana as an athlete is a real gamble,” he ended.