Sports minister Zizi Kodwa confident Springboks, Proteas can avoid flag, anthem ban at World Cups

Ahead of a deadline to revise the nation’s legislation to be in compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code, South Africa’s ministry of sport is optimistic they will avoid sanctions from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), officials told Reuters.

South Africa has until October 13 to enact the necessary changes, or they risk losing their right to represent the nation at competitions like the ongoing rugby and cricket World Cups.

“Government is engaging with WADA in relation to our amendment bill, and we will provide an update in due course, but there is no way we will be in a situation where our teams will not play under the South African flag,” a sports ministry spokesperson said on Thursday.

Zizi Kodwa, the minister of sport, stated last month that the country was committed to amending the Act as needed and that the process was well underway.

According to WADA’s recommendations, we have devoted many hours to amending the law, Kodwa added. The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) Amendment Bill, which will now go through the South African Constitutional procedure of finalizing a Bill, was also drafted with input from WADA.

“The South African government has a detailed and complete mechanism for passing laws. Any legislation, including amendments, must pass constitutional muster in South Africa and cannot conflict with or invalidate any already-enacted laws.

Other consequences for South Africa falling foul of WADA would be the cessation of funding to SAIDS.

Khalid Galant, chief executive of SAIDS, told South Africa’s Daily Maverick newspaper that the vast majority of WADA’s non-compliant findings regarding our current Act are along the lines of “the definition must be updated to reflect the exact wording in the WADA Code” or “some definition or term in the Act is obsolete and no longer used.”

Therefore, the noncompliance is with the language and has nothing to do with SAIDS’s ability to operate or jurisdictional mandate.

South Africa and Bermuda were two nations that had not yet made the required legal changes before the new WADA rule took effect on January 1, 2021.

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