Some affiliates of Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) have expressed concerns about the delayed verdict on Amantle Montsho’s doping case. The concern was raised during BAA’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) over the weekend.
Since Montsho tested positive to a banned substance during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year, the Commonwealth Games Federation court has imposed a provisional suspension from athletics on her. She has since returned home from Senegal High Performance Centre where she was based.
The prolonged delay in delivering judgement may consequently result with the athlete losing interest in athletics altogether. Since Montsho’s case has been referred to BAA by the IAAF for determination and disciplinary action, it has been treated with utmost secrecy. Even the affiliates themselves did not get any information about the proceedings of the case.
When responding to these concerns BAA president Moses Bantsi revealed that they are expecting the verdict very soon. “We are expecting the outcome of the case to be forwarded to us in two weeks’ time,” said Bantsi. He went on to explain that the matter was treated delicately because they want to do everything right. The president said the Disciplinary Committee (DC) had a mammoth task on their hands, hence the closely gathered secret.
He acknowledged that the process took too long to resolve saying even the Montsho herself is demoralised.
The outgoing secretary general Patrick Moesi further explained that the DC, which was working in conjunction with Botswana National Olympics Committee (BNOC), Botswana National Sport Council (BNSC) and the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Culture (MYSC) have concluded their deliberations and has forwarded to IAAF for endorsement. “We hope this will be done in the next two weeks,” he said.
Moesi said as BAA they are inclined to promote a drug free sport as demanded by the IAAF and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). “This case has brought up issues that need to be addressed quickly so that we clean our sport of drug use,” he said. It is because of this that Moesi said BAA could not support Montsho because they were prejudiced in this case.
He called on coaches and clubs to educate their athletes on drug use so that cases such as these are avoided. He said what happened should be a lesson for Botswana and the association should emerge from this stronger.
It is evident that BAA will not try by any means to shield the athlete from the possible suspension from all IAAF activities. It also gives an impression that a stern judgement may be imposed on her to set as an example that drug usage is not tolerated in Botswana sport.