South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport strategic plan 2013: briefing

Sports, Arts and Culture

20 August 2013
Chairperson: Mr M Mdakane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport briefed Members on its milestones and lessons learnt from 2012/13, its operational plan (short-term goals 2013) and strategic vision going forward 2013/18, and upcoming key events in 2013. It outlined the background information and appointment of a new board of directors. It reported that the milestones from 2012/13 were the School Steroid Testing Programme, drug testing in sport, anti-doping education and awareness, and the “I Play Fair Campaign. Some lessons learnt from 2012/13 were that accolades could lead to a culture of complacency – for example, the Ludwick Mamabolo case.  Other lessons were escalating legal costs, limitations of the Drug-Free Sport Act (No. 14 of 1997) with respect to schools, and increased demand for anti-doping and drug education. The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport’s operational plan would focus on doping control, and anti-doping education and awareness. Its strategic vision going forward 2013/14 would focus on improving internal governance structures, reviewing the current the Drug-Free Sport Act, and improving strategic alliances. Key events for the year 2013 were the “I Play fair” International Sport Law Symposium, Newlands, 10-11 November, and the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Fourth World Conference on Doping in Sport, Sandton, 13-15 November. 

Members appreciated the work that the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport was doing. They asked a number of questions around the issue of Comrades Marathon winner Ludwick Mamabolo’s case, the number and names of schools that the Institute approached, its access to rural places, and the number of positive dope cases, supplements and technicalities experienced during Mamabolo’s case. One member asked about testing, and why soccer was not included as one of the national federations. Members raised the concern that testing should be done in advance and it should be clear that the athlete was free from any substances before participating in an event.

Meeting report

South African Institute for Drug Free Sport strategic plan 2013: briefing
Mr Khalid Galant, Chief Executive Director, South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS), said that a new board of directors had been appointed in December 2012. The Minister of Sport, the Hon. Fikile Mbalula, had appointed the new board in accordance with the Drug-Free Sport Act (No. 14 of 1997), and their names were as follows: Dr Victor Ramathesele (Chairman), Mr Graham Abrahams, Dr Linda Skaal. Mr Mthobi Tyamzashe, Ms Natalie du Toit, Dr Harold Adams, Prof Rochelle le Roux, Mr David Bayever, Dr Mzwake Qobose, and Judge Lex Mpati. The professional background of the board of directors included corporate governance, law, medicine, pharmacology, education/research, public health, professional sport (athlete perspective) and media. He reported that the number of athletes across all sports was 1 935 in 2009/10, 2 308 in 2010/11, 2 348 in 2011/12, and 2 280 in 2013/14. The number of positive dope cases was 18 in 2009/10, 30 in 2010/11, 40 in 2011/12 and 43 in 2013/14.

Mr Galant described the milestones from 2012/13:

The Schools Steroid Testing Programme

Mr Galant referred to the pilot project  (one year), special dispensation from the World Anti-Doping Agency, the South African Schools Act (No. 84 of 1996) and the Drug-Free Sport Act (No. 14 of 1997), substance testing, education and deterrence, support of schools and school governing bodies (initial target was 35 schools, but it was expanded to 60+ schools (capacity for the first year was 100 schools), and funding and legal challenges.


Drug testing in sport

This involved an athlete biological passport and blood testing, erythropoietin (EPO) testing - an oxygen drug enhancer that was advantageous for endurance sport but was very expensive to test, and stimulants - the ubiquity of sports supplements containing banned substances (2012 Comrades winner Ludwick Mamabolo was mentioned as an example). SAIDS had experienced growing legal expenses when dealing with cases such as that of Ludwick Mamabolo.

Anti-Doping Education and Awareness
Mr Galant said that SAIDS had an education programme for anti-doping education and awareness, and that it had partnered with the provincial governments of the Northern Cape, KwaZulu- Natal, Western Cape, Gauteng and other provinces in rolling out the education programme. Other partnerships included the partnership with schools and national sports federations such as those for rugby, swimming, athletics, cycling, boxing, rowing, baseball, triathlon, cricket, and university sport. The "I Play Fair” Campaign was in place; it included 2013 Sports Industry Awards - nominated in two categories, and the 2013 Gold Prism award. The Campaign was South African National Lottery funded and sponsored (See slide 6).

Some lessons learnt from 2012/13
Mr Galant said that the SAIDS had learnt some lessons from 2012/13, and those lessons learnt included the following: accolades could led to culture of complacency- for example, Mamabolo's case, escalating legal costs - for example, SAIDS learnt from the Lance Armstrong case and the Legal Defense Fund, limitations of the Drug-free Sport Act with respect to schools – there was a need for better partnership with the national Department of Basic Education to implement the Schools Steroid Testing Programme, increased demand for anti-doping and drug education - doping became mainstream after the Lance Armstrong affair and the education of officers in provinces was needed to respond to demand.

Operational Plan (Short-term goals) 2013
Mr Galant said that the operational plan for 2013 would be doping control, which included expansion of the athlete biological passport project to include more marathon/ironman/triathlon athletes, and increasing EPO testing and the School Steroid Testing Programme. SAIDS would continue with anti-doping education and awareness, and it would include education officers based in provinces, updating of policy position on sports supplements and sport nutrition and partnering with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on anti-doping education initiatives. SAIDS would work with the Department of Sport and Recreation to address the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) shortfall.

Strategic vision going forward 2013/18
Mr Galant said that south African Institute for Drug-Free Sport’s strategic vision going forward would focus on reviewing the current Drug-Free Sport Act, improving internal governance structures - for example, protecting operational independence, improving confidence of stakeholders/sponsors, keeping the agency on the cutting edge of its industry, and bettering the internal governance structure in order to meet the compliance demands of National Treasury, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) International Convention against Doping in Sport. SAIDS would form partnerships with Departments of Health and Social Development, the South African Police Service (SAPS), the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), the Medicines Control Council, the National Prosecuting Authority, the South African Revenue Service (SARS), Customs and Excise, and the private sector to support education and awareness programme through corporate social investment funds. The Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality, Sports, Sector Education Training Authority (CATHSETA) would review the education and training strategy to leverage partnership and funding.

Key events 2013
In concluding, Mr Galant said that SAIDS would host the following key events, namely; “I Play Fair” International Sport Law Symposium on 10 and 11 November 2013 at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa, Newlands, Cape Town, and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s Fourth World conference on Doping in Sport, 13 -15 November 2013, at Sandton Convention Centre, Sandton, Johannesburg, hosted by the Minister of Sport and Recreation and the City of Johannesburg. There would be a policy conference that would focus on adoption of a new World Anti-Doping Code for next four years.

Mr T Lee (DA) noted that the SAIDS was playing a very important role in sport, and he accepted the SAIDS's apology for not handling Ludwick Mamabolo's case correctly. He noted that an increase in budget was needed where there was good progress. He then asked the SAIDS to give number and names of schools it worked with. He asked why soccer was not mentioned as one of national federations.

Ms G Sindani (ANC) asked why athletes did not get tested before they participated in major events because it was sad when athletes won the medals and later found that they were tested positive. She then wanted clarity on the number of dope cases.

Mr S Mmusi (ANC) appreciated the appointment of new SAIDS board and its members’ different fields of expertise. He then wanted clarity on Ludwick Mamabolo's case.

Mr G MacKenzie (COPE) noted that schools needed to understand the importance of drug free sport. He then asked SAIDS's stand on life ban penalty if an athlete was tested positive, on the Drug-Free Sport Act, and on supplements and legal costs.

The Chairperson asked if the SAIDS had expanded its work to rural areas, and whether SAIDS had an interaction with love-Life, and how many schools SAIDS had targeted.

Ms T Lishivha (ANC) wanted more information about males and females tested by SAIDS

Mr Galant replied that soccer was a big sport, and SAIDS met with the South African Football Association (SAFA), but due to changes in administration the SAIDS-SAFA relationship was not created.

Dr Victor Ramathesele, SAIDS Chairperson, said that SAFA did not take doping and other drug issues seriously. Countries like the United States of America took drug free sport seriously. SAFA did not have a structure for drug free sport to take place. Doping was very expensive and SAIDS needed support from SAFA.

Mr Galant said that testing was very expensive as it consisted of in-testing and out-testing, and every test case was reviewed. Ludwick Mamabolo was tested positive, but SAIDS did not know whether it was deliberate or not.

Dr Ramathesele replied that SAIDS had a long report document on Ludwick Mamabolo's case and it would be made available for Members. Ludwick Mamabolo's case was dropped on technicalities and critical errors were found in Mamabolo's case. In future, SAIDS would take full responsibility for people that it tested.

Mr Galant replied that the penalty of a life ban of athletes tested positive would always be difficult in the South African context due to the legal frameworks in place. Virgin Active had come on board to help in educating people about supplements. SAIDS was preparing what it would like to see in the legislation regulating schools.

Dr Ramathesele replied that the aim of SAIDS was to test, educate, and create awareness. The support of the Committee was important in dealing with legal issues. South Africa should build doping control and personnel, and more people should be educated about doping. The school governing bodies were a challenge when it came to school sport. Supplements were informed by science, and supplements that came to South Africa caused problems, as there were no regulatory mechanisms in place. It was very difficult to ban someone who was tested positive, as there were many processes to follow. In concluding, he said that continuous briefing on drug-free sport was important, and SAIDS would learn from love-Life. SAIDS would like to work with Department of Basic Education.

Mr Galant replied that SAIDS did not do gender analysis, and it had no programmes with love-Life. SAIDS had visited rural areas such as the Northern Cape, the Eastern Cape, and part of the Western Cape.

In concluding, the Chairperson thanked SAIDS for a good presentation, and suggested that the Committee should meet with the Departments of Health and Basic Education. He requested SAIDS to send the report document on Ludwick Mamabolo's case.


The meeting was adjourned.


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