Minister of Youth and Sports Ulemu Msungama has said the country needs to have a vibrant drug-check enforcement organisation to avoid issues of substance abuse by athletes.
He said this on Wednesday at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe during the launch of Malawi Anti-Doping Act and Policy project.
Said Msungama: “I am happy today to witness the official launch of Anti-Doping Act and Policy. This will empower the Malawi Anti-Doping Organisation [Mado] to be vibrant in their operations.
“As government, we are against using performance enhancing drugs in sports. Athletes should win on merit. Use of drug substance in sports is unfair because it makes undeserving athletes win.”
On his part, Mado chairperson James Mwenda said it is difficult to enforce the rules in the absence of laws.
He said: “We have to pat ourselves on the back for securing this funding. We are only nine countries who have received this funding.
“This funding will help us create a legal framework in the next 12 months. As an organisation, we need to be legally backed if we are to operate smoothly.”
Mwenda said a team of seven professionals from ministries of Justice, Health, and Education and that of Malawi Olympic Committee, Malawi National Council of Sports and Mado are working on formulation of the policy and act.
“The legal instruments that will be put in place will enable us operate legally by using provisions in the law. As we are now we can be challenged by athletes who have posted positive because we don’t have a legal backing,” said Mwenda.
Malawi National Commission for Unesco has given Mado $35 000 (about K28 million) to formulate a policy and an Act that can be tabled in Parliament for approval.