WATCH | ‘South Africa can fly national flag at rugby and cricket world cups’: Kodwa
Minister of sports, arts and culture Zizi Kodwa says the Springboks and the Proteas will be able to fly the South African flag at the world cups taking place in France and India.
During a press briefing on Tuesday, Kodwa announced that the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (Saids) had lodged an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) against the threat of sanctions after the World Anti-Doping Agency's (Wada) claims that South Africa had not updated its anti-doping legislation.
“The appeal Saids is launching today is a long process and we have been working around the clock to comply with Wada,” said Kodwa.
He said they have also presented a bill to cabinet to amend the legislation.
“I presented the bill to cabinet last week and it approved the release of the draft bill. I have made a special request for the bill to be fast-tracked through the parliamentary system. I am confident Wada will recognise the efforts as a commitment to pass the amended legislation and therefore suspend the non-compliance declaration,” he said.
“At the same time Saids has filed notice to challenge Wada's compliance declaration against South Africa through Cas,” he said.
“I believe the grounds for appeal are strong and the sanctions are not appropriate. The sanctions around the flying of the flag has created hysteria and unfairly punished athletes and players who are competing for the pride of our nation.”
Kodwa confirmed flying the national flag at events such as cricket and rugby world cup games will not be affected until Cas rules on the challenge.
“We also don’t want to kick the can down the road. We want to find a solution to this problem. South Africa’s commitment to anti-doping is non-negotiable,” said Kodwa.
Khalid Galant, Saids CEO , who was present at the press briefing, said “The appeal cannot be denied and Wada needs to file the appeal to the court of arbitration. This might not even go to that as they might accept the letter of demand,” he said.
“If we lose the appeal the consequences will be enforced, but we can’t speculate if that will happen.”
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