Namibia’s boxing supremo Kelly Nghixulifwa has come out with guns blazing to set the record straight following mumblings of concern over the eligibility of Harry Simon’s mooted upcoming bout against Ugandan Joseph ‘Joey Vegas’ Lubega, in September.
Simon’s stable, Oguwo Promotions, made a surprise announcement that the unbeaten Namibian boxing icon is to return to the ring after a self-imposed hiatus stretching over a year.
In an effort to clear the air, New Era Sport sought to explore the proportionality of imminent sanctions hanging over the head of Simon, who has apparently tested positive for a banned steroid. It was put to the relevant sports bodies to unpack the sketchy details of these damning allegations.
A ducking Abner ‘Big Daddy’ Xoagub, president of the National Olympic Committee (NNCO) would not be drawn into discussing the issue in detail and chose to pass the buck onto boxing’s presiding body the Namibia Boxing and Wrestling Control Board.
“As far as we are concerned we have done our part after being notified about the tests results from WADA. As it stands, we are still awaiting feedback from them to give us directives going forward,” said Xoagub.
When quizzed as to whether the offence meets the specific gravity requirement under the regulations for doping control and sanctions in sports, Xoagub defended the Olympic movement’s stance, saying it’s within their rights not to divulge any information until they receive directives from WADA.
“The matter is still pending we are not going to pronounce ourselves on the possible steps to be taken in the interim. It’s up to the boxing control board to sanction the fight if they so wish – that responsibility does not lie with us.”
Nghixulifwa took the bull by the horns and was more specific, saying the federation is not in the business of breaching regulations, although it is the general belief that it is their responsibility to explore some key features of the code of conduct when it comes to sanctions.
“It’s true, there was a case pending but procedures pertaining to further investigations were flawed. There were two samples (A and B) taken from the accused but only the A sample was tested and though it was reported positive – the rule requires the B sample also to be tested within a stipulated period of three months, which did not happen.”
Though Nghixulifwa did not rule out nor confirm further sanctions, the dominant view is that WADA would not have a leg to stand on in its pursuit to prosecute the offender after the time frame has lapsed. Samples must be destroyed after three months upon submission.