Top Bots athletes among those to be re-tested

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Bakang Mhaladi

 

Gaborone ‑ Top Botswana athletes, Isaac Makwala, Nijel Amos and Amantle Montsho are among some renowned runners whose London 2012 Olympic Games samples will be re-tested.
Last month, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) revealed, in a statement, that some samples would be reanalysed for possible banned substances.
Then the IAAF had said it would not mention the affected cases for legal reasons.
But last week, the local Olympic Games body, the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) revealed that the top three athletes, who were part of the Botswana team at the London 2012 competition, would be re-tested. 
It was at the London 2012 Games where Botswana won its first ever Olympic Games medal, where Amos grabbed silver after finishing second in the 800m. Kenya’s David Rudisha won what was the fastest 800m race in history.
Montsho, the former 400m world champion, finished fourth, while Makwala, known for his solo 200m run in London last year, failed to advance to the semi-finals of the 400m.  
Botswana will now hold its breath as IAAF re-analyses the samples of the country’s leading athletes.
The country has been dogged by six doping cases in eight years, which has put it on World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) spotlight.
BNOC Chief Executive Officer, Tuelo Serufho told the media in Gaborone that the IAAF had revealed that samples would be subjected to re-testing.
“There has been an improvement in science unlike in the past when they were unable to detect certain elements in a sample. Now, they have developed capacity to be able to test,” Serufho said.
He said it should therefore, not come as a surprise when athletes retain positive results after re-analyses. 
Serufho said it was key for athletes to adhere to anti-doping regulations, to ensure that they are always on the right side of the law.
Last year, anti-doping officials indicated that an unnamed Botswana athlete always gave them a torrid time when they tried to get out of competition samples.
IAAF has tightened its anti-doping rules, with federations expected to declare all medications, drugs, therapeutic substances and supplements intended to be used by athletes.
“Every year, WADA puts certain countries under watch list. Some even get non-compliance status and if we do not fulfil certain conditions, we could be declared non-compliant,” Serufho said.
IAAF, which had seen an increase in doping cases, particularly after the Russian scandal, where there was systematic cheating, is making all efforts to clampdown on the use of banned substances. IAAF has put up a new agreement where there would be autonomous doping structures.
“The new agreement gives the testing authority power to test any time and reduces chances of people cheating,” Serufho said.
Top world athletes would be under the radar as IAAF begins the re-testing process.

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