Tadious Manyepo, Harare Bureau
ZIFA are yet to commit to the dictates of the Regional Anti-Doping Organisation, effectively delaying their affiliates from rolling out anti-doping tests on their footballers.
In March, the PSL promised to introduce random tests for prohibited substances at the commencement of the season but, 11 weeks into the marathon, nothing has been done.
The tests, which experts say are carried out more to protect athletes from harming themselves rather than punishing them, are also supposed to cascade down to lower divisions.
PSL had enlisted the services of the Zifa Medical Committee to help conduct the tests.
But, it has emerged Zifa are still to sign the document from RADO which will allow them to start carrying out the tests.
Zifa spokesperson, Xolisani Gwesela, said he was not aware of the issue.
However, Medical Committee chairman Edward Chagonda said if Zifa don’t append their signature, the findings of the tests will be null and void.
“Doping cannot be localised. It’s under the auspices of RADO. Therefore, Zifa have to sign the RADO agreement before its affiliates, like the PSL ,can start to carry out anti-doping tests,” said Chagonda.
“Zifa have to register and get authorisation from RADO as nothing can be done before that agreement has been signed.
“So, at the moment, the document is yet to be signed. As soon as it is signed, then the Zifa affiliates can start to conduct anti-doping tests to which the Zifa Medical Committee has since pledged to chip in when needed.’’
PSL spokesperson, Kudzai Bare, said all the stadiums hosting Premiership games are equipped with anti-doping test rooms and they were only waiting for the Zifa greenlight to start the examinations.
“PSL will soon be introducing random anti-doping tests on their players. But, that will be subject to getting the go-ahead from Zifa.
“Zifa are the mother body and they should first approve the tests before we carry them out.
“It’s true we held a workshop before the season commenced where we promised to start conducting the random anti-doping tests.
“We are yet to commence that as we are waiting for the greenlight from Zifa.
“We hope we will get the permission soon,” said Bare.