SA to file appeal for not complying with World Anti-Doping Code

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South Africa will file an appeal on the decision of the World Anti-Doping Agency for not complying with the World Anti-Doping Code. That’s the instruction Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Zizi Kodwa has given to the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport. It comes at a time when the South African Institute of Drug-Free Sport Amendment Bill, approved recently by Cabinet, is being processed to remedy the situation.

It’s a decision that has caused a lot of anxiety among South African athletes and players. Currently, the Springboks are participating in the Rugby World Cup in France, while the Proteas are in India for the Cricket World Cup. The appeal will delay the consequences of non-compliance, as it applies to the flying of the South African flag at major sporting events.

“I believe the grounds for appeal are strong and that the sanctions are not appropriate. The sanction as it pertains to the flying of the national flag has created unnecessary hysteria and punishes athletes and players unfairly who are competing for the pride of our nation,” says Kodwa.

Kodwa wants the legislation to come into effect by at least May next year. He’s also roped in Deputy President, Paul Mashatile, in his capacity as the leader of government business, to make sure that lawmakers process it quickly. And it’s hoped that South Africa’s commitment to a drug-free sport will be considered during the appeal.

“We are following a process this is not only ours, but also the IOC approach on engagement with SASCOC. We will abide but we want to abide and make sure that our teams and athletes are not compromised in any way” says Barry Hendricks, SASCOC President.

The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport says it was informed last year about non-compliance. However, it says WADA didn’t give them the required time for the promulgation of legislation.

“That process of comprehensive sport integrity legislation that could have brought us in compliance with the code and with other prescripts of global sport had to be stalled when WADA had strict deadlines, they were not prepared to accept the process of a public consultation and timeline for normal promulgation,” says Khalid Galant, South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport CEO.

Kodwa says the flying of the South African flag at the Cricket and Rugby World Cups will not be affected until the Court of Arbitration in Sport makes a ruling on this matter.

Video: Media briefing on World Anti-Doping Agency non-compliance