SA lodges an appeal to rescind World Anti-Doping Agency’s non-compliance declaration

SA lodges an appeal to rescind World Anti-Doping Agency’s non-compliance declaration
Rugby fans during the Rugby Championship match between South Africa and Australia at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on 8 July 2023 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo: Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images)

The Springboks and the Proteas will be allowed to continue flying the national flag at their respective World Cups after the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport lodged an appeal to have the World Anti-Doping Agency’s non-compliance declaration lifted.

South African sports teams, including the Springboks rugby team and Proteas cricket side — which are currently participating in World Cups — may yet be allowed to continue flying the national flag and singing the national anthem after the minister of sport, arts and culture, Zizi Kodwa, “pulled out all the stops”. 

As reported by Daily Maverick, the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) issued a statement confirming that South Africa had not updated its anti-doping code and had fallen foul of Wada’s mandatory compliance requirements, for which it now faced consequences. 

These consequences include not being able to participate in sporting events under the South African flag. 

Wada’s revised anti-doping code came into effect on 1 January 2021 and all member countries were expected to update their anti-doping regulations to align with the new code. To date, more than 700 sporting bodies and federations have done so. 

South Africa and Bermuda are the only two nations that failed to update their anti-doping codes before the deadline. 

“The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture and I have pulled out all the stops to resolve the non-compliance by getting the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (Saids) Amendment Bill adopted expeditiously,” Kodwa said in a media briefing in Cape Town on Tuesday. 

“I presented the Bill to Cabinet. Last week, the Bill was approved by Cabinet and will now be tabled to Parliament. I am confident that Wada will recognise these efforts as a commitment to pass the amended legislation and suspend the non-compliance declaration. 

“The responsibility weighed heavy on our shoulders as we have the Springboks and Proteas men competing in World Cups in France and India, respectively. 

South African Sports Minister Minister Zizi Kodwa presents a national flag to Bok skipper Siya Kolisi the day they left for France to defend their RWC title. Now, government’s failure to amend South Africa’s anti-doping code may lead to a flag ban for the Boks. (Photo: Sydney Seshibedi / Gallo Images)

Due processes

The deadline to submit to Wada — 13 October — is fast approaching. 

“We draw courage from our national Cabinet’s decision on 4 October 2023, last week, to approve the onward processing of the draft Bill,” Kodwa said. 

“We are relieved now that the Bill would be subjected to the scrutiny of the state law advisers. 

“I have made a special request to the leader of government business for the Bill to be fast-tracked through a parliamentary system. 

“I am confident that Wada will recognise the efforts as a commitment to pass the amended legislation and therefore we hope that it will suspend the non-compliance declaration. 

“In tandem with all these processes, Saids filed a notice to challenge Wada’s non-compliance declaration against South Africa through the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). 

“I believe the grounds for appeal are strong and that the sanctions are not appropriate,” Kodwa said.

Earlier this month, 14 South African athletes at the World Athletics Road Running Championships in Riga, Latvia, were prohibited from flying the national flag. 

“The sanction, as it pertains to the flying of the national flag, has created unnecessary hysteria, and punished athletes and players unfairly who are competing for the pride of our nation, South Africa,” Kodwa added. 

“The flying of South Africa’s flag at events such as [the] cricket and rugby World Cups will not be affected until [the] CAS rules on this challenge.” 

Technical side 

The appeal, which Saids lodged to Wada on Tuesday, 10 October, three days before the deadline, is for consideration to “rescinding the non-compliance declaration”. 

“The nature of the appeal which we will lodge … is a notice of intent to dispute, which Saids, as a signatory to the code, will file on behalf of South Africa to Wada,” Khalid Galant, the chief executive officer of Saids said at the media briefing. 

“Part of the notice of intent to dispute is first to consider the matters that have already been done, as the minister referred to them, to the Cabinet approval and the process, and for Wada to consider rescinding the non-compliance declaration. 

“If Wada does not accept that, they will then file it and it will go forward to [the] CAS.” DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Helena Mentz says:

    What was the delay in getting this passed in the first place? I find it perplexing that 700 other sporting bodies were able to do it within the given timeline? What cause this drastic delay in our end when we already had athletes stripped of the flag as a result of non-compliance?

  • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

    Please let our teams play in our national colours, we definitely qualify for exemption.

    Missed deadline? Oh, well you must understand that this is a derogatory term, offensive to dead people. So of course we had no choice but to ignore it.

    Yes. And we were sleeping. Yes.

    Yes. We are also a bit lazy. Yes.

    Oh. And corrupt. Yes, also a little bit of this.

    Emm, so you understand now clearly why we are clearly fully justified to get exemption.

    Please comply otherwise we will have no choice but to declare WADA a racist organization.

    • Scott Gordon says:

      Did you hear all the pathetic reasons , sovereign state etc .
      Frankly , would like to see the ban implemented , just to ram home how useless the ANC really is !
      SA needs special treatment 🙂

  • Tony.clarke says:

    Please don’t think that anyone subscribes to your “I am the saviour of this problem” narrative when you were the one responsible for this failure.

  • Pieter van de Venter says:

    For 2 years nothing was done, and now Zizi thinks that the legislation will be processed by the LP’s and then the traditional leaders between 4 October and 13 October and Cyril must sign in before 13 October????

    Who is smoking to much or sniffing socks???

  • Beyond Fedup says:

    That’s the nett result one gets when you have the most inept, bumbling idiots and morons in government who couldn’t organize their way out of a paper packet. It seems to be the criteria required to become a minister etc. in this abominable party and government. How embarrassing and how difficult can it be to have sorted this issue timeously? These leeches and parasites are paid huge salaries with all the perks at taxpayers’ expense and can’t even do the simplest tasks. It is no wonder that SA is in such decline.

  • masemola2 says:

    Minister must explain to the nation, Why the delay?

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