The Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) are advocating for the establishment of an independent National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO).
This was announced by the Committee’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Tuelo Serufho, who was speaking at a press briefing earlier this week, which was held to give an update on Team Botswana’s preparations for the upcoming Commonwealth Games.
“We are in constant dialogue with the government and I can assure you that Ministry of Youth is very willing to establish NADO. What has been their challenge is the resources needed to set up that independent structure. They are positively looking it and we are hopeful in future it will be established,” said Serufho.
The CEO believes setting up NADO will ‘enhance the integrity of the whole testing system’ as it will be wholly focused on doping and how to prevent it.
During the briefing, Serufho revealed that 400m runner Lydia Jele has been provisionally suspended pending her doping case investigations.
The 28-year-old tested positive for a banned substance during a routine test carried out by the Athletics Integrity Unit towards the end of last year.
According to Serufho, the failed test came not long after Jele had passed a test carried out by the BNOC.
Jele, who has represented the country at major competitions including the World Championships and the Olympics, is said to have refused to do a B sample test.
However, Serufho stressed that Jele will only lose her Olympic Scholarship if she is found guilty.
Meanwhile the CEO revealed Team Botswana, which consists of competitors in Athletics, Boxing and Weight Lifting, have been set a target of eight medals at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, which take place from April 4 – 15. He said reaching their target would be a great achievement as a build up and preparation for Olympic 2020 team.
“We started preparing for the games last year and the first thing we took the team for the medical checkups in the High Performance Centre in South Africa. From our past experience, we realised we missed our targets because of injuries.
“When we went for RIO Olympic Games we had Baboluki Thebe who was fully recovered but suffered a recurrence of that injury which made him fail to compete. For now the doctors report shows we do not have any major injury in our team,” said a satisfied Serufho.
The CEO explained that from the beginning of next month athletes will be going in difference directions to enhance their training while some will remain in the country in training camps and participating in a series of competitions.
Serufho revealed they have appointed a support team, which consists of a medical doctor, two physiotherapist and two psychologists.