Monday, December 11, 2023
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What is the role of sporting associations/federations?


Elsewhere in this week’s issue of your favourite read we run a piece about and on the calamitous comeuppance of our own fastest man Mosito Lehata who will be basking in the stands or touchlines watching like the rest of us as his other colleagues sweat it out on the track, at least for the next five years.

This after he was slapped with a five-year ban for testing positive to a prohibited substance for persons in his line of work.

The news of his sanction from all athletics competitions for no less than five years has cast dark cloud over the country’s future and prowess in the sport.

Federation of Athletics Lesotho (FAL) spokesperson Nkuebe Makhalemele told this publication that Lehata’s ban came very unexpected and caught them completely off-guard.

“His suspension has badly hit us and our plans as we hoped to still have him for at least the next two years. So it is going to be tough now for our sprinters without him,” he said. 

Asked about whether the athletes are given the education on the type of performance enhancement to use, he said the association has not been providing it.

And then bingo!! Makhalemele admits to not doing anything about educating the athletes through whom they as executives in the sporting associations exist. Members of the leadership or management of the associations exist to make the athletes look good, feel good and do good in their work.

Part of the work should be to ensure safeguarding the interests of the athletes, their welfare and growth of the sport.

By his admission, Lehata maintains that he was just unlucky to have been caught with his pants down as he had had no intention of breaking the rules by taking forbidden substances, adding that he had only taken asthma medication.

Talking via his social media platforms, Lehata appologised to his fans, family, friends and the public for the comeuppance.

“Every action has a consequence. Either it was unintentional or intentional. I have been in athletics for 14 years and I am proud of everything I have accomplished,” Lehata said in a post.

The athlete further apologized for his actions and the position he finds himself in which he was led to by mistake. 

“I made one mistake in 14 years and I have to pay for it. I took asthma medication and it got me in trouble. For those that I have disappointed, I apologize to you,” he said. 

Lehata tested positive to a forbidden substance and was charged with attempted tampering with the doping Control Process. He is said to have tested positive to Salbutamol.

The Lehata situation raises more questions and suspicions than answers.

One cannot help but wonder what the sporting associations and federations are doing in line with their call of duty if athletes can, under their watch, find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Could it be that they are sleeping on the job, or that they are not interested in the interests of the athletes but merely there to secure own interests?

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