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Secret Agent: They Should Be Banned!   

Our resident secret agent has claimed that drug-testing in the Premier Soccer League is a “hot topic at the moment” and those caught should be “banned”.

It’s about to get even more relevant following confirmation from SAFA that the South African Institute of Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) will resume routine testing in the local game nearly five years since the last reported case.   

“It’s a hot topic at the moment, if rumours around the recent Olympic squad selections are to be believed. A thorough investigation should be held into the alleged incident, it’s now an open secret in the industry and can’t be hidden forever,” said the secret agent in reference to claims that the U23 squad expelled players for testing positive for drugs.

“Testing was always done in the PSL and for some unknown reason, fell away a few years ago. This has led to incidents occurring, which need stamping out immediately and without hesitation – any player caught should face a lengthy ban. Plain and simple.”

In the agent’s opinion, its questionable that the football fraternity has gone for so long without SAIDS being involved like before.

“A league such as the PSL cannot, and should not, be able to operate without mandatory testing taking place, whether this falls under SAFA’s responsibility, the PSL or both remains to be seen. But given recent incidents, it is very good that SAIDS, will insist on the implementation of mandatory testing,” argued the intermediary.

“Clubs need to get a grip on this area and players need to be aware that illegal substances will not be tolerated. We also need education workshops to be in place. In SA, we do not see performance enhancing drugs being predominant, it’s more a mindless few, who seem to think that they won’t be caught out using recreational drugs.

But what’s the agent’s responsibility in supporting anti-doping measures?

“In terms of agents, it’s not their responsibility to police their clients. For sure education is key and advice around the non-use of any drugs should always be given to their clients. Ultimately though, it’s a players responsibility and if anyone is caught then they should be banned.” 

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