Minister of Youth and Sports Development Grace Chiumia has expressed concern over increasing number of athletes who fail drug tests in the region, saying this sad development might affect performance at the 2016 Brazil Olympic Games.
Chiumia said this when when she opened a workshop for executive members of the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 in Lilongwe on Friday.
“Our region is now recording increased number of athletes failing doping tests. This is a sign that we have to double efforts to educate our athletes against doping. It is my hope that we will emphasise more on education than on doping tests. As we work towards the Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, we must tackle this problem,” she said.
Chiumia said she is aware that the regional sports body is changing its name from the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa (SCSA) Zone VI to AUSC and that there is need for solidarity.
“The transition itself requires all member countries in the region to remain vigilant and play their respective roles for the benefit of the region and its integrity,” she said.
Chiumia also appealed to the participants to rise to the target set by a council of ministers in 2012 to improve on the 12 medals that the region won in India and win 16 medals at the Brazil Olympics.
“I am am reliably informed that you have embarked on a new initiative called Podium Performance Programme which will enable us to achieve the strategic goal of 16 medals in 2016. I will be happier if we can even beat the target to say 20 medals,” she said.
The Minister thanked National Aids Commission, TNM, Malawi Enterprise Development Fund (Medf), Pacific Hotels and Techno Brain for supporting government to host the event.