Appeal for dope tests in schools

Drug-Free Sports said 60 schools have signed on to have regular tests.

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula. Picture: Marc Lewis/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sports, CEO Khalid Galant, plans to appeal to Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula to vouch for the procedure of doing dope tests in schools.

The tests will be done along with the Department of Education in order to help roll out the dope-testing programme at schools randomly.

Galant spoke to Talk Radio 702's Udo Carelse about why parents and principals would oppose drug testing for sports.

He said it could be that they are hiding something or because drug testing is a very invasive process.

"When dealing with minors there are additional rules to apply and if that is a concern for parents, it's legitimate."

Galant said through evidence, the institute found a trend that many high school learners participate in systematic doping knowing they will be at events like Craven Week.

"The strategy is to fold up your size and strength, but when you sign a contract with the professional rugby franchises you keep yourself clean to avoid being caught."

He added it's not only for health reasons to test the learners but also "adolescents who should have healthy hormones and hormonal cycles."

Galant said some 60 schools ave already signed up with the institute.

"Ironically some of the best performing rugby schools haven't signed but there's pressure from the other schools for them to sign."

The CEO admits the Sports Minister has been supportive and it's only legal challenges which hold them back.

He gave assurances all schools will succumb to pressure because "the signed schools indicated they will not compete with unsigned schools as they don't want to put their students in danger by competing with artificially big learners."

Carelse asked Galant if they would test for recreational drugs and Galant said "We want to see how effective steroids testing is first."

"However if we test in October to January I'm confident we would find some activity." He added.