The deadly vice of use of performance enhancing drugs among sportsmen dates is as old as humanity.
Prohibited substances as anabolic agents, narcotics and beta blockers have been widely used by sportsmen and women for performance enhancement purposes, among others.
As far back as 776 Before Christ (BC), the earliest cases of doping were reported among sportsmen of ancient regime.
During that epoch, some Greeks, Romans, Germans and the famous sports icon Thomas Hicks were reportedly doping.
Until 1999, when the first anti-doping conference was convened in Lausanne, Switzerland, the practice remained vibrant among sportsmen.
In 2003 when the second conference was convened in Copenhagen, Denmark, the code and international standards of acceptable and unfit drugs came into force with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
For starters, WADA has 29 accredited laboratories world over (none in Africa) where the collected samples are tested and only allowed in these labs.
Uganda is among the members of this body with 134 countries in totality.
A recent zone V regional Africa Anti doping conference hosted by Uganda at Route 256 restaurant in Lugogo, Kampala was further intended towards streamlining the mechanism to ensure a “clean sport”.
It was realised that right from Government, National Council of Sports, Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC), sports federations, sportsmen, medical personnel, coaches and the media, among others, the fight against doping is a collective effort.
Tom May, the deputy director and the in charge of the NADO-RADO relations reiterated the urge to protect the integrity of sport in a bid to create a doping free sporting environment.
There is need to ensure a doping free sports environment which is in line with protection of the integrity for sports.
May’s voice was also re-echoed aloud by Christine Mugera, the Executive manager of the Africa Zone V RADO.
The struggle of anti-doping should be everyone’s concern. Drugs have short term and long term effects onto people’s bodies. We should say no to drugs in sports at all times.
Other key note presenters included Dr Donald Rukare, the secretary general of the Uganda Olympic Committee, William Blick (President, UOC), Dr Nana Nakiddu (Chairperson of UOC Medical Commission), Ganzi Mugula (Chairperson of Athletics commission, UOC), Miriam Mirembe, Proscovia Namusisi (UOC Medical commission members) and Christopher Mbowa (secretary of UOC Medical commission).
The international anti doping body, WADA is streamlined towards the code compliance monitoring, athlete outreach (athlete relations), NADO-RADO relations, conducting investigations (intelligence), information (data management), education, science and medical issues.
In Uganda, a footballer, Samuel Ssenkoomi was recently found guilty of using banned substances and slapped with a one year ban.
Internationally, famous cyclist Lance Armstrong, former athlete Marion Jones, Kenyan Asbel Kiprop and the Russia Federation have been implicated.