The Conféderation Africaine de Football (CAF) in collaboration with world soccer governing body, FIFA, has organised a maiden workshop for Doping Control Officers (DCO's) to update the knowledge and knowhow of doping personnel.
The historic workshop, held from 19-20 March 2019 in Cairo, Egypt, was attended by 25 experienced medical practitioners from across the continent with discussions on topics such as Strategies against doping in football, Banned Substances, Use of Supplements and Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).
Vice President of the CAF Medical Committee, Yacine Zerguini, said the participants were updated on the theoretical and practicalities of doping amongst others geared towards constituting an elite panel of Doping Control Officers for competitions.
"One of the objectives was to update and refresh the DCOs with all the modifications and latest info to put them on the same level of FIFA and other parts of the world,"
One of the key outcomes of the workshop is the creation of a CAF Doping Control Unit to handle doping related issues. According to Zerguini, the unit will constitute representatives from the CAF General Secretariat, Medical and Legal Departments to ensure the procedure is conducted in the professional manner.
He added that with the support of FIFA, CAF will for the first time conduct of out-of-competition doping ahead of the impending Total Africa Cup of Nations Egypt 2019. This means that random test will be conducted on players during training camps with a target of having every player tested at least once before the final tournament.
From the side of FIFA, Alexis Weber, Head of Medical & Anti-Doping and Monika Keller, Senior Project Manager Anti-Doping took the participants through the major topics during the workshop.
"Through this workshop, the DCO's have been empowered to take home the message to our various federations. I also expect CAF Executive Committee to make doping control more mandatory in our leagues. The various local leagues should make sure doping controls are implemented. The procedures are fine but MAs should be supported logistically-wise," David Kofi Prince Pambo from Ghana, also a member of the CAF Medical Committee.
Ivorian Cyrille Serges Dah said: "We have improved our knowledge regarding doping control and were taken through new updates and modifications in the doping implementation to be efficient in our tasks".