By Carlos Kambaekwa
Namibia is amongst 77 countries from the 191 member states that have duly ratified the UNESCO Convention against doping in sport after all members agreed to ratify the convention at the 2003 World Conference in Copenhagen.
The revelation was made by the Director of Sport, Dr Vetumbuavi Veii during an exclusive interview with New Era Sports in the capital yesterday.
This comes in the wake of an urgent plea by the new President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) John Fahey after he urged governments to speed up the implementation of anti-doping legislation earlier this month.
The world’s anti-doping governing body needs universal ratification of the UNESCO convention, as it would give the movement the tools required to tackle some of the major issues that are currently outside the purview of the sporting movement.
Dr Veii said plans are under way to set up a national anti-doping movement and Commissioner Benjamin “Doc” Naobeb has been tasked to put all the necessary mechanisms in place for the envisaged body to become functional.
“Without the inevitable existence of such an entity, we are unable to address many issues in this regard, but we are highly determined to get the ball rolling and throw our weight behind the already functional zone six anti-doping committee.”
According to Dr Veii, the setup for anti-doping agencies is an extremely expensive exercise with virtually no Wada accredited laboratory in existence on the entire African continent, with the exception of one in Bloemfontein, South Africa.
Namibia, through both the National Sports Commission and Olympic Committee is a paid up member of the World Anti-Doping Agency.