SA to host world doping conference

The Sports Ministry signed a memorandum of agreement in Durban with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to stage the World Conference on Doping in Sport.

The conference event will be held in Johannesburg at a yet to be confirmed date after the city beat Dallas (United States) and Sochi (Russia) to host the event.

Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula was present to formally sign the documents, with WADA president John Fahey on hand to represent the world body.

The signing took place on the sidelines of the 123rd Session of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), taking place in the east coast city.

Meaning of the conference

Also present was Gert Oosthuizen, the deputy minister of the Sport and Recreation Department. He said the conference would be a feather in the cap for South Africa.

"We are very excited about hosting the WADA 2013 conference,” he said.

"This is for various reasons, like to root out the scourge of doping in sport, it is to educate the athletes, the administrators and the coaches about the risks involved with that, but also to have fair play, to say no to doping, I play fair.”

Oosthuizen said the conference would continue enhancing the reputation of the country. “It is to a certain degree a legacy. A legacy of our proven ability to host world-class events."

"Where we are right now at the International Olympic Committee session, we are showered with compliments and everything is going so well. It is in fact of the highest standard and quality."

(Sapa, July 2011)

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