In a bid to ensure fair play and maintain the integrity of sports, a three-day training program for Doping Control Officers (DCOs) recently concluded at the prestigious Bethel Court in Ezulwini. Held from July 8th to July 10th, 2024, this training marked a significant milestone for the country, as it sought to expand its pool of active DCOs.

With an increasing number of elite athletes consistently showcasing their prowess on the international stage, the need for DCOs to monitor and enforce anti-doping regulations became crucial. Prior to the training, the country had only one active DCO, which presented a challenge considering the growing number of athletes competing abroad. Originally set to be facilitated by Mr. Andrew Kamanga, an esteemed expert in the field, who then encountered some unforseen challenges.

However, the reins were expertly taken over by Opela Anita Nyathsane, a seasoned professional with an extensive background in anti-doping measures. Nyathsane’s wealth of knowledge and experience ensured that the training remained comprehensive and effective, leaving the participants equipped with the necessary skills to carry out their duties diligently.

A total of thirteen participants, driven by their passion for clean and fair sports, eagerly took part in the training. The group consisted of individuals from diverse backgrounds, including former athletes, medical professionals, and sports administrators. The collective determination to combat doping in sports created a palpable sense of camaraderie throughout the training program.

The three days were filled with intensive theoretical sessions, practical exercises, and insightful discussions. Participants delved into topics such as the World Anti-Doping Code, the prohibited substances and methods, the sample collection process, and the importance of athlete education. Hands-on simulations allowed them to familiarize themselves with the procedures involved in sample collection and the meticulous documentation required.

“The training was an eye-opener for me,” expressed one of the participants, who wished to remain anonymous. “It made me realize the immense responsibility we hold as DCOs. We are the guardians of clean sports, and this training has prepared us to protect the integrity of the games.

The conclusion of the training marked a significant milestone for the country’s anti-doping efforts. The increased number of trained DCOs will enable the nation to effectively monitor and enforce anti-doping measures, ensuring fair play and safeguarding the reputation of its elite athletes.

As the participants bid farewell to their newfound colleagues, they left the Bethel Court with a renewed sense of purpose and determination. Armed with the knowledge and skills acquired during the training, these dedicated individuals are ready to take on the responsibility of Doping Control Officers, ensuring that the pursuit of athletic excellence remains untainted by unfair advantages. With the collective efforts of these newly trained DCOs, the country is poised to maintain its commitment to clean sports and become a shining example for others to follow.