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Region 5 for clean sports

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By Tione Andsen:

African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 has spoken of the need for athletes to desist from using performance-enhancing substances.

The body’s Region 5 advisory board chairperson Isaac Katopola said athletes should promote a clean sports environment to ensure fairness and professionalism in sport.

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Katopola was speaking during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between AUSC Region 5 and Africa Zone VI Regional Anti-Doping (Rado) body at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.

He said there was a need to safeguard athletes in the region by enforcing compliance with world anti-doping rules and codes.

“This would help discourage athletes from using performance-enhancing substances. Issues of doping and other unethical conduct in sport have become a global concern that warrants smart partnerships between sports governing bodies,” Katopola, who is also Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Sports, said.

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He said they deemed it prudent and appropriate to enter into a formal understanding with Africa Zone VI Rado as torch bearers and custodians of sport in the region.

“The MoU aims at harnessing sport and fighting malpractices that have already reached this industry. Key among them is the fight against doping in sport.

“In July 2017, sports ministers gathered in Russia for a world conference aimed at considering ways of making sport relevant to our society. From the conference, five action points were identified as part of our action against doping in sport,” Katopola said.

He said the MoU will serve as an enabler in providing services to the industry.

“We have formalised existing partnerships. We, therefore, commend Africa Zone VI Rado for agreeing to implement the working partnership with a well-sorted fundamental process,” Katopola said.

Rado president Nicholas Munyonga said governments within the region have made considerable investments in sport infrastructure.

“Such infrastructure needs to be guarded at all cost. The region should strive towards ensuring adequate return of such investment by promoting clean and safe sport. Our core business is to lead and coordinate in implementation of anti-doping programmes in member countries.

“This is a multi-sectoral process which requires partnerships and collaboration with various stakeholders. We saw it fit to establish synergy with Region 5 to leverage the political support from ministries, sports councils and commissions,” Munyonga said.

He said they are greatly honoured to sign the MoU, which has nine areas of compliance, during the Region 5 Youth Games.—Mana

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