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VIDEO: Boks can put 'fly the flag' debacle behind them

REACTION: The Springboks will continue to fly the national flag on the global stage following the approval of the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) Amendment Bill by the National Assembly.

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Zizi Kodwa, the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, confirmed on Tuesday that the South African government has signed off on the SAIDS Amendment Bill to get the country in line with international anti-doping requirements.

Last year the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) ruled that South African legislation was non-compliant with the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code.

Subsequently, the SAIDS Amendment Bill was formulated, proposing changes to specific sections of the legislation. Some amendments include the establishment of an anti-doping agency.

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“The adoption of the SAIDS Amendment Bill by parliament is a game changer,” Minister Kodwa said after the ruling.

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“The consequences of failing to adopt the bill would have been severe, not only for sports but for the reputation of the country.”

The minister and his department moved quickly to formulate the legislation since the ruling by WADA in September 2023, which stated that the Boks may have been forced to compete under a neutral flag in the quarterfinals of the World Cup.

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“Remember the notice stated if we were not able to amend the bill to make sure that we deal with issues which WADA identified as non-compliant, our athletes, our national teams would not have been able to participate globally or continental,” the minister said.

“They would not have been able to fly the flag or sing the national anthem – that would’ve been disastrous.

“We know the power of sports. It unites the people. We know what it has done in the recent past. It would have reversed a lot of things we have achieved over a short period of time.

“I think all federations now, they are guaranteed and assured that the issue about the flag and singing the national anthem is no longer an issue.”

He added: “I must thank everyone. Within six months of hearing about the WADA notice, we worked around the clock to meet the deadline.

“I have to thank WADA, the federations and other stakeholders.

“We saved the country because the WADA consequences were too catastrophic for the country

“We are a sporting nation. Our teams and athletes are doing extremely well globally and it would’ve been a big damper.”

*Also READ: Boks can ‘fly the flag’ 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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