Play Fair and Say No to Doping
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) supports and values a collaborative movement that protects the rights of Western Cape athletes to participate in drug-free sport.
On Saturday 2 February 2013, the Department collaborated with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) to host a substance abuse seminar at the Athlone Stadium. The purpose was to create awareness around a scourge that has been undermining the fairness of competitive sport for many years. Various sporting dignitaries from across the province were in attendance at the event.
Mr Rodney Swigelaar of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) emphasised the important role of partnerships between government and sport movements in combating substance abuse in sport. “We can’t do this on our own. Clear roles and responsibilities for all the stakeholders are important for a successful collaborative campaign for doping-free sport”, he said.
Doping substances are easy to get and there is an abundant supply. Because substantial profits can be made, there is a growing criminal underworld presence and the trade is becoming more sophisticated. It is estimated that 25% of the world’s pharmaceutical products are traded on the black market.
Swigelaar encouraged partners to participate in WADA’s Anti-Doping Development Programme. “We should create awareness around doping in sport by conducting similar sessions regularly, educating our athletes from junior level, and assisting each other to develop effective structures. We should also be actively involved in outreach programmes at major events, for example ‘doping in sport’ quizzes for athletes.”
He encouraged parents and coaches to be vigilant in order to minimise the risk of children being exposed to substance abuse. Partners all want to be proud of athletes who can say: “I would rather lose than cheat”. There was a high level of audience interaction with the presenters.
SAIDS believes that prevention is better than cure, and that greater awareness about substance abuse in sport will heighten athletes’ resistance to modern-day pressures to take drugs. Mr Bennet Bailey of DCAS said that fair play in sport is important. By working together, partners will help to ensure athletes know the rules and can proudly agree with the slogan, “I play fair: Say no to doping”. Similar seminars may be held in the DCAS regional offices in the near future.
World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)
Tel: 082 460 2503
South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS)
Tel: 082 200 7111
Directorate: Sport Promotion
Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport
Tel: 021 483 9638