Dop­ing tops ath­let­ics AGM agenda

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Mikia Kalati

THE Le­sotho am­a­teur ath­let­ics as­so­ci­a­tion (Laaa) is set to hold its an­nual gen­eral meet­ing (AGM) this satur­day in Maseru.

ac­cord­ing to Laaa pub­lic re­la­tions of­fi­cer, se­ja­mane Maphathe, top of the agenda would be the re­cent sus­pen­sion of three ath­letes — ‘Mamoroallo Tjoka, ramelefi Mot­sieloa and sekeke Lesole — who had tested pos­i­tive for banned per­for­mance-en­hanc­ing drugs.

Tjoka, dubbed the marathon queen due to her dom­i­nance in lo­cal and south african races, tested pos­i­tive af­ter win­ning the 2014 High al­ti­tude sum­mer Marathon for a record third time and was sub­se­quently stripped of the ti­tle.

Lesole also tested pos­i­tive at the Mokhot­long race af­ter com­ing third in the male cat­e­gory of the 42.2 kilo­me­tre race while ramot­sieloa tested pos­i­tive while run­ning in south africa.

Both Tjoka and Lesole have al­ready been sus­pended for two years while the Laaa is yet to rule on ramot­sieloa.

But ac­cord­ing to Maphathe, this and other chal­lenges fac­ing lo­cal ath­let­ics would be dis­cussed dur­ing Satur­day’s AGM.

“Of course, we are wor­ried as Laaa, so the aim is to find ways to help our ath­letes avoid fac­ing sim­i­lar prob­lems in fu­ture,” Maphathe said.

“We will be run­ning cam­paigns ahead of next month’s High Al­ti­tude Sum­mer Marathon to try and ed­u­cate our ath­letes about what they can eat, drink and use for treat­ment to avoid putting their ca­reers in jeop­ardy over banned sub­stances.”

Maphathe also said the as­so­ci­a­tion would need to pre­pare for next year’s Olympic Games to be held in Brazil.

“The Olympics are com­ing up next year, so we need to have a big pool of ath­letes quali­fy­ing for the Games as only a hand­ful have qual­i­fied so far,” said Maphathe.

sprint king, Mos­ito Le­hata, has al­ready booked a place at the Brazil Games, while long dis­tance run­ners have a chance to do the same at the week­end’s Soweto Marathon .

“We have a few ath­letes who have booked their place at the Olympic Games. Lebenya nkoka was the last to do so in the Cape Town Marathon in septem­ber al­though he did not win the race and only man­aged 8th place.

“But we need to help more ath­letes qual­ify for the Games and that can only hap­pen with good plan­ning.”

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