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Jared Lovett Case - by Loyisa Mtja

Jared Lovett, the 2008 Prospect of the Year, has been found guilty of using a banned substance and suspended from boxing for a period of two years. His hearing was conducted by the SA Institute for Drug Free Sport’s Anti – Doping
disciplinary committee on February 11.

This hearing arose from his failing of a dope test after his fight against Tommy
Oosthuizen on July 11 2009. The test from the laboratory confirmed the presence
of the banned substance Stananonozol and its metabolites in his urine sample.

Subsequently, there were tough behind the scenes discussions and disagreements
between Boxing SA and SAIDS about who should conduct the case. BSA was accused of being either reluctant or unwilling to conduct the hearing.

While the fight was organized and conducted according to the rules and
regulations of BSA, the actual testing of the boxers and the expertise thereof, especially when it comes to burden of proof during the legal hearing before a
judge, prosecutor and legal representatives form all sides, is outsourced and resides with SAIDS.

The South African Boxing Act 11 of 2001 is silent on the procedures, basis
and even the authority upon which BSA can conduct these kind of hearings.
The cited reason was that when matters were considered regarding The Act,
dope testing was not yet a strong factor in the regulation of sports.

This, therefore, means that any discussion or ruling made by such an unauthoritative sitting could be vulnerable if taken on review.

SAIDS on the other hand has a very well established set of rights, obligations and procedures to deal with issues of this nature. Their Anti-Doping Committee has the power to hear and determine all matters pursuant to the anti-doping rules and can effectively defend any challenge that may arise from such a ruling.

After all the above matters were considered, SAIDS conducted the hearing as
provided by Article 8.2 of the 2009 National Anti-Doping rules.

WAY FORWARD ON DOPE AWARENESS

It has been derived from the few cases where boxers have tested positive for
usage of banned substances that ignorance of permissible body supplements
is of concern.

It is, therefore, in light of the latter that Boxing SA in concurrence with SAIDS will embark on a National Awareness Campaign on sustained information and education on the awareness of drugs. The negotiations are at an advanced stage with SAIDS to appoint experts to impart information on, amongst others, how the anti-doping testing is conducted. The premeditated training will also focus on educating candidates on the accepted supplements.