Botswana's 4x400m relay team member faces a potential ban after testing positive for a banned substance ahead of major events.
A member of Botswana's esteemed senior men’s 4x400m relay team is currently under scrutiny following a positive test for a banned substance.
This development casts a shadow over the team's preparations for the upcoming 2024 World Athletics Relays in the Bahamas.
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The athlete, whose identity remains undisclosed by Botswana National Anti-Doping, was part of the squad that competed at the 2023 Budapest World Athletics Championships.
Fredrick Seno, the coordinator of Botswana National Anti-Doping, confirmed the test results.
“The test was conducted in Gaborone before the athletics team left for Budapest last year," she revealed as per Mmengi Online.
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Seno expressed his disappointment, noting the persistent issue of positive tests despite ongoing anti-doping education sessions with athletes.
“It is unfortunate that we continue to encounter these challenges,” he remarked.
The situation is exacerbated by what Seno describes as a lack of cooperation from the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA), accusing them of neglecting their role in anti-doping education, a requirement set by World Athletics.
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The strained relationship between the national anti-doping body and the BAA comes into sharper focus with Seno's allegation that the BAA has not provided a list of athletes likely to qualify for the Africa Games and the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
“We need that list to plan our anti-doping education and testing,” Seno emphasized.
He also highlighted the importance of preparing athletes mentally for doping tests, particularly for first-timers, to avoid potential trauma.
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In response to these allegations, BAA general manager Pinkie Wilson expressed surprise.
“The BAA is committed to anti-doping efforts. We provide extensive online courses for our athletes, covering not just anti-doping, but also vital aspects of an athlete’s life like financial management,” Wilson stated.
The situation puts the spotlight on the broader issue of doping in athletics, a problem that has plagued the sport globally.
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The revelation of a doping case in Botswana, a country known for its rising profile in athletics, is particularly disconcerting.
It underscores the need for more robust and cooperative anti-doping measures to safeguard the integrity of the sport.