Doping scandal rocks swimming Anna Mguni
Anna Mguni

Anna Mguni

Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
A MASSIVE doping scandal has rocked the sport of swimming in the country with young swimmers allegedly being injected with banned substances two weeks before major competition events.

Swimmers as young as 14 years have been victims of the dark secret that has also sucked in a top medical centre in the capital (name withheld), which is believed to be charging $140 per single jab.

Investigations by Chronicle Sport have revealed that athletes have been taking banned Vitamin B, through what is known as the Intravenous (IV) infusions.

According to the World Anti Doping Agency, Intravenous (IV) infusions have been included on the WADA List of Prohibited Substances and Methods under section M2.

“The wording in the 2015 Prohibited List states that Intravenous infusions or injections of more than 50 ml per 6 hour period are prohibited except for those legitimately received in the course of hospital admissions, surgical procedures or clinical investigations (1),” says Wada.

Some of the swimmers said to have taken the prohibited substance under the World Anti Doping Agency are part of the Team Zimbabwe that left the country yesterday for the African Union Sports Council Region Five Games. Zimbabwe Olympic Committee (ZOC) last night confirmed getting heed of the matter but said they are yet to get a formal complaint.

Sources however revealed that some influential administrators and parents have made sure the scourge “which has been going on for years” is swept under the carpet.

A source said panic buttons were pressed during the recently held Mashonaland Swimming Championships after an official from the Zimbabwe Swimming Board and Control, Caroline Hawgood made an announcement about doping in the sport.

“The announcement was made by Caroline Hawgood although I don’t know what post she holds in anti- doping in swimming. The ‘Vitamin B’ injections have been going on for years. Parents pay maybe every Thursday and nurses come to inject. Little did we know it was illegal,” said a source.

The source said one parent (name supplied but withheld) owned up and asked for the withdrawal of her son (name withheld due to age) from the national team as he had been injected with the banned substance.

Investigations further revealed that a doctor identified as Austin Jeans was assigned to  investigate the doping allegations.

Contacted for a comment Hawgood said: “Please wait until ZOC medical council have completed their investigations.” However, ZOC chief executive officer Anna Mguni said no formal investigations are being carried out by the organisation.

“The 2015 WADA code allows people to come forward and report suspected cases of doping and such cases can be investigated. No such reports have been formally submitted to ZOC: the allegations provided are speculative and in relation to this, ZOC has not mandated Dr Austin Jeans to investigate. Any consultation he has been undertaking has been principally in his capacity as a sports medical expert, having been approached in his private capacity.

“I refer you specifically to the WADA Code Articles Two and Three, related to Anti-Doping Rule Violations and Proof of Doping as some of the fundamental areas that require investigation and verification, if and when a substantial report is made. The code also outlines the list of prohibited substances that people must know and follow. There are ten specific violations in the code which must be clearly understood and thereafter it has to be seen whether any have been violated by the aforementioned sport code. The plan of Action at this stage is to gather facts out of rumours and engage the swimming federation in a transparent manner,” said Mguni in an emailed response last night.


You Might Also Like