Botswana relay star faces ban in doping scandal ahead of  2024 World Athletics Relays

ATHLETICS Botswana relay star faces ban in doping scandal ahead of 2024 World Athletics Relays

Festus Chuma 11:00 - 24.01.2024

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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