SARU boss takes swipe at government in WADA saga
REACTION: The World Anti-Doping Agency has acknowledged it received the ‘notice of appeal’ from the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport in the ongoing case of the country’s ‘non-compliance’.
However, the debacle had a nasty spinoff, with South African Rugby Union President Mark Alexander launching a stinging attack on the government.
SAIDS formally lodged an appeal with WADA on Tuesday against the decision that had threatened to see the Springboks barred from flying their flag in this weekend’s World Cup quarterfinal against France.
The appeal ensured the national team could focus on the game and need not concern themselves with any sideshows.
However, Alexander laid the blame for the debacle at the feet of the government.
“We have this problem because our government failed to promulgate new legislation,” Alexander said in interviews with South African media outlets.
“It is a disgrace.
“It is an embarrassment for our country.
“They were issued notice well in advance.”
WADA confirmed it received the notice to appeal on Tuesday.
“WADA will shortly refer the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for its consideration,” it said in a statement.
“As such, the allegation of non-compliance is put on hold and the consequences will not apply until such time as CAS makes its ruling.”
In a separate statement Zizi Kodwa, the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, said SAIDS formally filed a notice to challenge WADA’s non-compliance declaration through CAS.
South Africa had been given until Friday to update its anti-doping legislation in compliance with new WADA rules, but was almost certain to miss the deadline.
That would have triggered a ban on the Springboks flying their flag and playing the national anthem at Sunday’s clash against the host nation France in Paris.
* Additional reporting by AFP