South African Institute for Drug Free Sport Annual Report 2010/11

Sports, Arts and Culture

20 October 2011
Chairperson: Mr M Dikgacwi (ANC) (Acting)
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Meeting Summary

The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) presented its Annual Report 2010/11. Boxing South Africa (BSA) was supposed to attend, but was not present, and the Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA) would be told of the Committee’s deep disappointment in this regard.
SAIDS had an unqualified audit report but was very concerned about matters of emphasis raised by the Auditor-General, because it claimed that it had never been told of the change of policy, and was also being treated as if it were a huge entity, and having to pay substantial audit fees. Despite these concerns it had undertaken to address the issues raised. SAIDS was delivering on its mandate, and had made great strides both in increasing doping testing, and in advocacy, with support from the Department of Sport and Recreation, National Lottery and some of the sporting federations. It had targeted conducting 2 200 tests, but had achieved 2 308. The number of adverse analytical findings increased from 18 to 51. Rugby, Athletics, Cycling and Football topped the list of sporting codes that had the greatest number of tests. Because it had been realised that some federations’  internal tribunals were ineffective and gave inconsistent sanctions, SAIDS had created independent tribunals to enforce the anti-doping law and prosecute offenders. The tribunals were functioning well. Despite increased communication, however, some athletes continued to take supplements and to take herbal remedies that had no scientific benefit. SAIDS had partnerships with other global bodies, and was helping other countries in the region. It also had partnerships with the Department of Education and the South African Police Service and Hawks, and had formed alliances with the law faculties of two universities in Cape Town to review the current Anti-Doping legislation, which had become obsolete. Some of the challenges outlined included issues around quality control and use of unregulated supplements by sportspersons. Doping in schools was another area of concern to SAIDS, yet its operations were often restricted by policy and the Education Act. SAIDS was discussing this with school governing bodies.

SAIDS had received R10.04 million, a 39% increase from the previous year. It had also won a contract to conduct tests on 250 athletes over a two-year period, to the value of R150 000. It had been asked to cover the All Africa Games in Mozambique. It had centralised its results management system to improve efficiency, but had not anticipated fully the costs involved. Each case cost about R20 000. It was trying to formalise partnerships with the Department of Education to carry out 2 500 tests in schools across the country. There was a need to increase education especially in rural areas.

Members asked who was responsible for regulating substances, asked whether the federations were cooperating with SAIDS on independent tribunals, asked how schools’ tests were conducted, and asked why efforts appeared to be concentrated in Eastern Cape, and whether SAIDS had a national coverage. They questioned the audit report and noted that the issues would be discussed with the Auditor-General. They questioned why and how it was involved in other countries, enquired about the duration and monetary value of the Improved Athlete Biological Passport contract, and noted the need for closer liaison with the Department of Education. They asked about the performance of the Board members, and the current composition of the Board, asked if SAIDS had sufficient capacity, and noted with concern that South African Football Association had not given any support yet.


Meeting report

South African Institute for Drug Free Sport Annual Report 2010/11
Dr Shuaib Manjra, Acting Chairperson, South African Institute for Drug Free Sport, presented an overview of the financial performance of his entity (SAIDS) for the 2010/11 financial year. He explained that he would firstly deal with the general performance of the entity during the year, and then address highlights and financial performance. He thanked the Committee and the Minister of Sport and Recreation South Africa for the support provided.

Dr Manjra noted that the Auditor-General’s (AG) audit of SAIDS demonstrated its commitment to ensuring efficiency and noted that it was delivering its mandate. SAIDS had made great stride in advocacy, thanks to funding from the Department of Sport and Recreation (SRSA) and the National Lottery. Out of a target of 2 200 tests set in the 2010 Treasury planning process, the institution had conducted 2 308 tests, with a marked increase in the number of adverse analytical findings (AAF): positive tests from 18 to 51. The tests were an indication of efficient and rational use of resources by the institutions. Rugby, Athletics, Cycling and Football topped the list of sporting codes that had the greatest number of tests, accounting for about 58% of the total tests conducted.

Dr Manjra said that following the realisation that federations’ internal tribunals were ineffective and gave inconsistent sanctions, SAIDS had created independent tribunals to enforce the anti-doping law and prosecute offenders. The tribunals were functioning well and helped take the burden from under-funded federations that had no capacity to enforce the anti-doping code.
 
The positive results were a product of increased education and awareness in an area it had previously overlooked. Awareness and educational campaigns were held, with the support of the National Lottery, SRSA and South African Rugby, to sensitise sports persons on the dangers of taking supplements to enhance their competitiveness and thereby gaining an unfair advantage over other competitors. SAIDS, through funding from SA Rugby had successfully hosted the “I PLAY FAIR” Fair Campaign staged in Bloemfontein. However, despite stepped up efforts in educational and awareness campaigns, Dr Manjra said that some athletes continued to take supplements and other herbal remedies with poor scientific evidence of benefit.

SAIDS had realised the importance of forming synergies with like-minded organisations to deliver its mandate. Since drugs had become a global problem, SAIDS had formed partnerships with the world Anti-Doping Association (WADA) in capacity building and educational programmes. It developed relations with the International Counselling Agency Service (ICAS), which serviced professional rugby, football and cricket to provide support to victims of doping. The goal was not to punish but rehabilitate the individuals. He said SAIDS was approached by WADA to train build capacity in Zone 6, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, to build infrastructure, and operational and management structures. Partnerships had been formed also with the Department of Education and the South African Police Service and Hawks, which helped with intelligence on use of prohibited drugs. In addition, SAIDS established alliances with law faculties of the University of Cape Town and University of the Western Cape to manage a Sport Law project to review the current Anti-Doping legislation, which had become obsolete.

Despite its positive financial outlook SAIDS was faced with a lot of challenges. These included issues of quality control and use of unregulated supplements by sportspersons. He implored the powers that be to regulate the industry in order to ensure a drug free country. He said that SAIDS had confidence that, with new legislation, the problem could be addressed. Doping in schools was another area of concern to SAIDS, yet its operations were often restricted by policy and the Education Act. He reiterated that the current anti-doping legislation had serious limitations, and yet a large number of pupils tested positive to substance abuse. SAIDS was, however, involved in talks with school governing bodies to find a solution to the problem. Reports in the media had shown that there were an accelerated number of pupils engaging in substance abuse.

Mr Khalid Galant, Chief Executive Officer, SAIDS, presented the financial report, noting that the audit report was unqualified, despite the fact that the sporting discipline was beset by problems. One issue that was of concern related to the way that the Auditor-General had not informed SAIDS that new policies had been formulated, so that SAIDS was penalised on issues of performance and supply chain management matters. However, SAIDS had taken note of the Auditor-General’s (AG) report and recommendations, and would revise its procurement policy and work on improving performance reporting areas that had been highlighted by the AG’s office. SAIDS had received R10 042 000 compared to last year's amount of R6 713 000, a 39% increase in grant money from the Department. Through the Athlete Biological Passport, SAIDS had won a contract to conduct tests for 250 athletes, with a value of R150 000, for a period of two years. This year, SAIDS was approached by Mozambique to cover the All Africa Games, which was a testimony to the fact that it had built a good reputation in anti-doping efforts.

SAIDS centralised its results management system to improve efficiency. Despite the success of the move, SAIDS had not anticipated the costs of the undertaking, including building capacity through training legal and medical experts, and doping control officers, as well as travelling costs incurred when prosecutors visited victims. He said that, on average, the entity spent R20 000 per case.

SAIDS had made tremendous strides in carrying out anti-doping activities. However, schools remained a problem area because of the volume of tests and legislation that prevented the entity from partaking in school-organised events that were not hosted under the auspices of SA Rugby and SRSA. SAIDS had a target of conducting 2 500 tests in schools countrywide. However, Mr Galant said it had engaged with the Department of Education and was positive that it would reach a Memorandum of Understanding so as to formalise the partnership.

Mr Galant said there was need for the entity to step up education campaigns in the rural areas, which were often sidelined, although Eastern Cape was one of the main suppliers of boxers in the country. He again reiterated that SAIDS was working closely with Law Faculties to draft new legislation, and the Minister of Sport had confirmed his support for amendments.

Discussion
The Acting Chairperson asked SAIDS to clarify the issue of unregulated supplements, and who was responsible for regulating them.

Mr Galant said that nobody knew who was responsible for regulating supplements that lay somewhere between medicine and food. This was a grey area. Some supplements contained potent ingredients and he felt that the Medicines Control Council should regulate them. SAIDS was going to engage with the relevant parties to iron out the issue.

The Acting Chairperson asked whether the federations were cooperating with SAIDS on independent tribunals.

Mr Galant responded that SAIDS had had a good relationship with various federations, and the fact that all programmes were funded by this entity helped under-funded federations to reduce their legal costs.

The Acting Chairperson asked how SAIDS went about conducting tests in schools.

Mr Galant said that SAIDS had no problem in covering activities that fell under the jurisdiction of SA Rugby and the SRSA, but it did encounter problems in instances where the events were run primarily by schools.

The Acting Chairperson asked why some of the efforts seemed to be concentrated in Eastern Cape.

Mr Galant said that the boxing campaigns were held through out the country.

Mr L Suka (ANC) appreciated the honesty of SAIDS in revealing that it was not familiar with some of the policies on performance measuring. He said that the Committee would approach the Auditor-General on the matter and advise that further education was needed when new policies were introduced, so that the set objectives could be realised.

Mr Galant said that the entity recognised the Auditor-General as an instrument of democracy, but expressed concern that the AG’s office was treating SAIDS in the same way as a large entity. He said the costs of auditing were exorbitant, accounting for 7% of its budget, and new policies were being introduced without updating SAIDS on their implications.

Mr Suka asked SAIDS to explain the R188 000 worth of payments made in contravention of supply chain management principles.

Mr Galant responded that SAIDS did not have any fruitless and wasteful expenditure. The comment related to purely administrative issues, as the entity did not have a treasury function or procurement unit.

Mr Suka asked how SAIDS sought to encourage anti-doping codes in SADC countries, when it was not empowered to do so.

Mr Galant said that it was in the interest of South Africa to spend money on developing anti-doping infrastructure in other countries to ensure that their athletes did not have an unfair advantage over others. SAIDS was working with the Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO) to ensure that other countries adopted and implemented anti-doping laws in their own sport activities.

Mr Suka enquired about the duration and monetary value of the Improved Athlete Biological Passport contract, which was awarded to SAIDS.

Mr Galant explained that the contract on Improved Athlete Biological Passport was valued at R150 000 per year, for a period of two years.

Mr R Mdakane (ANC) said that the entity needed to work closely with the Department of Education in implementing its education awareness programmes in schools. He wanted to know how the Board of Directors was performing, whether the entity was meeting its obligations, as well as the attitude of the South African Football Association (SAFA) towards the cause.

Dr Manjra said that SAIDS had managed to retain most of its board members but one member was relieved of his duties. Mr Harold Adams did not attend any meeting and never submitted an apology. In relation to SAIDS performance, he said that although SAIDS might not be “winning the war” against doping, it had shown significant successes, which were supported by the increase in the number of positive tests. He reminded Members that deterrence and detection of substance abuse were the core values. He agreed with the comment on partnering with the Department of Education, and he said SAIDS had engaged with authorities to amend legislation, although they had not formalised the agreement.

Mr S Mmusi (ANC) wanted to know why some sporting codes seemed to have a lot of TUEs, which he explained were applications that an athlete had to submit, if he or she had been prescribed a banned substance, for a
legitimate medical therapeutic purpose. However, he pointed out that the more that athletes used the substances legally, the more TUEs would be received. He wondered if SAIDS had sufficient capacity to carry out its mandate, noting that it had only two doctors.

Mr Galant said the International Standard for anti-doping required that every institution have at least two doctors. SAIDS therefore met this requirement. He added that the two doctors did have tremendous experience in anti-doping. Financial constraints limited the options open to SAIDS.

Mr Suka commended SAIDS for keeping its board of directors, though there were conventional challenges. He asked why the entity had established relationships only with the University of Cape Town and Western Cape University.

Dr Manjra replied that it was partly because of proximity and familiarity with sport initiatives. However, SAIDS had engaged with stakeholders from the University of Free State, University of Johannesburg and KwaZulu Natal in its campaigns.

Ms T Lishivha (ANC) asked if SAIDS had offices in all the provinces.

Dr Manjra replied that SAIDS had a fair distribution of doping officers across all the nine provinces but most of the officers were deployed near urban areas, where there were a lot of athletes and where major sporting events happened.

Ms Lishivha asked for further clarity on the AG’s findings that an award was given to a supplier who did not submit a declaration as to whether that supplier had any connection to the State.

Dr Manjra responded that this was the very point on which SAIDS had been penalised, although this requirement was not communicated in advance as a procurement procedure. The AG had been asked for further assistance on this issue, and had not found anything incorrect with the claim.

The Acting Chairperson wanted to know the reason behind non-performance from some of the board members and how the entity was addressing the issue.

Dr Manjra said the two members who under performed were Dr Harold Adams and Professor Achiwole, who did not attend meetings and was relieved of his duties by the Minister. Three board members had been enlisted, including two females, to increase the number of females to three out of the ten-member board.

Mr J Van Der Linde (DA) expressed worry at the increase in the number of cases of substance abuse by school children and asked if it was possible for SA Rugby to help.

Dr Manjra said Rugby was one of the federations that had shown its commitment to minimising doping practices. He said SA Rugby and Cricket South Africa sponsored most of the finance used in training programmes. SAIDS had been promised money by SAFA but had not yet received anything from the football governing body. It was trying to engage the Premier Soccer League to formulate an education campaign, but could not get a positive response.

Mr T Lee (DA) said that if SAFA was not taking interest in advocating anti-doping campaigns by SAIDS there was a possibility of the country being embarrassed at some point at international competitions.

The Acting Chairperson promised to meet with SAFA over the issue in the future.

The Acting Chairperson noted that Boxing SA (BSA) had failed to attend the meeting and asked Mr Matlala to inform SRSA that the Committee was disappointed at the failure of Boxing South Africa to attend the overview meeting.

Mr Suka said it was an anomaly for an entity not to report to the Committee during the oversight period, since it was in its interest to do so. He said this indicated serious contempt for the Committee, given that BSA never bothered to submit an apology.

The Acting Chairperson thanked members for their attendance and said that BSA would not be covered in the Budget Review and Recommendation Report to Parliament.

The meeting was adjourned.




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