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Doping failures worry BNOC

The Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) is vexed by the increasing number of local athletes who continue to test positive on the World Anti-Doping (WADA) banned substances.

This week, the Botswana Rugby Union (BRU) national sevens team duo broke the silence by being the latest victims.

Tuelo Serufho, the BNOC Chief Executive Officer could not hide his disappointment on the escalating failure by the athletes. He said that this has bad repercussion for both the committee and the country. “Our name as the BNOC and Botswana could be tarnished especially in competitions as we would be watched by an eagle eye, this will be emanating from the fact that we are being known for bad reasons,” he said.

Again this will leave Botswana athletes on a disadvantage as whenever they notch a medal they will be suspicion as to whether they got it on merit or there was influence of the drugs.”

Serufho told Weekendsport that the rising failures of doping test could also result in this country losing out athletes who were going to be the diamonds of the country at the international competitions.

“You know we lost our first athlete in 2008 because of this and he never returned to track, again we lost Amantle Montsho and she is yet to make a comeback to athletics, so if we continue to have our athletes succumbing to this we are likely to lose more of our stars.”

The first victim for doping was the promising 800m runner Onalenna Baloyi in 2008 before Montsho was fell by the unfortunate catastrophe in 2014.

With the rugby players treading on thin ice and risking a four year ban from playing, coaching or administrating the sport, BNOC is confused as to what to do.

 “We don’t know whether the codes and or the players don’t listen to what we always preach”, Serufho said.

The rugby players met these disastrous circumstances in South Africa towards the end of November. Thus far Serufho has called for calm as only the A (first) sample has been tested and they are awaiting the athletes to either accept the results or ask for the B (second) sample to be tested.

“But all the while the players are provisionally suspended from all the rugby matters pending confirmation by the athletes or the last sample and they can be suspended for 4 years but looking at the reasons how they consumed the substance,” the CEO cleared.

The BNOC is doing all it can to spread the doping message as they have various initiatives like educating, hosting workshops and availing the list of burnt substances to various sporting codes so the athletes become aware. With the investigations still ongoing the BNOC will also try to find out what could have happened, as the Coach, team manager and the whole entourage travelling with the team could be banned to at least eight years from rugby if they are found guilty somehow.

Efforts to engage BRU officials on the matter were futile as only the President was eligible to talk to the media and their office will only open on Monday next week. This is said to be the first incident to befall the BRU.

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It’s do or die for Zebras

28th March 2023

The senior national team, the Zebras, is currently in Equatorial Guinea to for an African Cup of Nations Qualifiers tie. Before they departed, the team’s coach, Mogomotsi Mpote, had his troops train in Morocco. This was through the agreement between the two countries.

The agreement between the BFA and the Fédération Moroccan Football Association states that the two nations will work together to organize friendly matches between their respective national teams. It also allows the establishment of football camps for the youth categories (U-15, U-17, and U-20), this includes women’s national teams.

The national team has played over 180 minutes in its two qualifying matches against Tunisia and Libya. Currently, the Zebras, Lesotho and Liberia are the only teams that haven’t scored yet in the competition (this is correct by press time on Friday).

Before the match against Equatorial Guinea match, the local boys who were once known as the whipping boys of Africa in the early 2000s, were languishing at the bottom of the log standings in group J. They lost their first match away to Libya on June 1, 2022. However, they managed to salvage a point against Tunisia last year.

Before the team left for Equatorial Guinea, coach Mpote urged his players to focus on keeping their hopes of making a return trip to the AFCON finals alive after an 11 year absence since the maiden appearance in 2012. He noted that they would not allow their opponents to score and would ensure that they would get a draw.

Despite the various changes that have occurred in the two countries’ football landscape, the two teams have only met once before. In 2010, the local boys defeated the Equatorial Guinea team in a friendly match, which ended in an emphatic win for the visitors. Since then, the two sides have realised different fortunes in FIFA rankings, with Equatorial Guinea ranked 51 places above the Zebras.

Meanwhile, in their last six games, Guinea has only managed to win one of them. They drew with Rwanda and Togo in September 2022 friendlies. They have found the back of the net just twice in their six games. On the other hand, the Zebras, won one match against Zambia and lost four on their way to finishing at the bottom of the group with four points. At the conclusion of their previous AFCON campaign, the local boys traveled to Zambia and secured a draw.


Despite the recent results of the Guinean team, which have only managed to draw with Rwanda and Togo in their last six matches, coach Mpote is still confident that his team will perform well against the hosts.

According to the head coach, the local boys have the necessary skills and resources to perform well against any country. He noted that the team’s coaches have been studying abroad to gain a deeper understanding of the various aspects of football.

“Tactically they should also be ready. We need your (Botswana fans) usual support, when we come back from Equatorial Guinea, we will go to Francistown, and we will need you. You are our 12th player, and you are very important to us.”


This week, the Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) Tuelo Serufho revealed that the Obed Itani Chilume Stadium will host the return leg of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between the local boys and Equatorial Guinea. The venue had initially failed an inspection test conducted by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). However, following the completion of the necessary works, the stadium was allowed to host the match.

According to BNSC Chief, Tuelo Serufho, the various requirements that the stadium must meet included having a designated parking area for the media and spectators, as well as having signage that will guide the spectators. He also noted that the venue now has a world-class media area.

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Jagdish Shah rejects Rollers society

27th March 2023

Township Rollers, one of the country’s most decorated football clubs with 15 premier league titles, is finding itself in a precarious situation as its long-term chief financier, Jagdish Shah, threatens to dump them if the society does not bow down to his demand of forfeiting their 20 percent interest in the company.

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Orange injects P350 000 into Phikwe marathon

21st March 2023

Mobile network Orange Botswana is committed to supporting the development of local sport. Through its sponsorship, the company will be able to promote and market the sport. According to Maano Masisi, the company believes that sport can unite people from different backgrounds.

He stated that through the sponsorship of the marathon, the company will help promote healthy lifestyles and unity among the people of Selebi Phikwe.

The Selebi Phikwe Marathon is scheduled to take place on July 29, 2023. It is expected that it will attract international, regional, and social runners. A total of P216 000 has been allocated for the prize money for the first ten places in the 42.2 km race. For the 15km and 10km races, the LOC will give away prizes to the first five places.

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