15 November 2012

Uganda: UOC Enters Sh185 Million Deal to Fight Doping

Uganda Olympic Committee has signed a Euro 60,000 (about sh185m) two-year deal with Mentor to fight drug abuse and the use of banned substances among athletes.

Mentor works closely with the international Olympic body.

The agreement was signed by Uganda Olympic Committee acting president William Blick and Rogers Kasirye, the director of UYDEL, who are the Ugandan affiliate of Mentor.

"This is a key area that we have not been emphasizing in the past. Our idea is to help clean up the sport by advising athletes against using drugs as they search for good results.

"This partnership will teach athletes how to manage themselves and get free of drugs and we will involve federations in this drive," said Blick at a function that took place at the UOC offices in Lugogo on Tuesday.

The offer comes at the right time as several Kenya runners are being implicated in using drugs to win events. The allegations also claim that some suspected cases were dropped from the teams that travelled to both the Beijing and London 2012 Olympic Games.

"This is going to be an entry of helping young people to get rid of drugs and live a better lifestyle. In most cases, people turn to drugs because they have no one to talk to them or advise them and that is what we are trying to address.

"We submitted the proposal to the international body and they saw it befitting to handle the situation before it gets out of hand," Kasirye said.

He added that they will advise sportsmen to live a healthy lifestyle which is essential even after their life in sports.

Blick said that UOC is going to change the rules, making it a point for every athlete that has a potential to travel for an international event recognised by the International Olympic Committee to undergo the programme.

It will involve lectures and practicals with counsellors on how to stay clean.

"We are also going to set standards for each federation having a national event and we will use those events to reach out to the masses," Blick explained.

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