Athletics Rwanda to start anti-doping campaign

Rwanda Athletics Federation (RAF) will start holding anti-doping campaign for its athletes; Dr. Emmanuel Nsengiyumva said in an ordinary general meeting held at Amahoro stadium over the weekend.

Rwanda Athletics Federation (RAF) will start holding anti-doping campaign for its athletes; Dr. Emmanuel Nsengiyumva said in an ordinary general meeting held at Amahoro stadium over the weekend.

Dr. Nsengiyumva, who is the president of the federation’s medical commission, said that (he) and three other medics will officially open the campaign this weekend at Amahoro stadium.

He said, “We should enlighten our athletes the effects of taking energy enhancements, which are very hazardous to their health.

“We are working with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to fight against doping in sport.

“This campaign will help in promoting national research to identify and detect doping substances and methods; developing and maintaining the annual list of prohibited substances,” Dr. Nsengiyumva stated.

He added that the campaign would include; educating athletes at local events through direct one-on-one interaction and answering their questions about the dangers and consequences of doping.

The general assembly also approved the federation’s new strategic plan which will run from 2008-2012.

This plan, RAF officials said, is aimed at uplifting the youths’ athletics standards from the grassroots up to the national level so as to enable the federation increase the number of national champions in each calendar year.

The general assembly further endorsed this year’s plan of action which is composed of nine national championships, two regional championships, one continental championship and five world championships.

Meanwhile, the venue of the first of three monthly inter-club championships has been shifted from Kigali to Muhanga, Southern Province because the Amahoro stadium that had initially set to host event is currently undergoing renovation.

The date has not been altered and remains, January 27, while the second edition, scheduled for April 20, has also been shifted from the initial venue in Muhanga to Ruhengeri in the Northern Province.

In a related development, the athletics federation is to start issuing licenses to local athletes.
All local clubs have been given until January 21, to register their athletes so as to enable the process of licensing the athletes to run smoothly. Each licenses costs Frw300.  No licensed athlete would be allowed to take part in any RAF-sanctioned competition, starting with this month’s inter-club championship.

Elsewhere, the federation technical committee has been given one month to draft rules governing the transfer of athletes from/to different clubs.

Clubs were urged to pay the annual membership fee of Frw50000. Only four clubs (APR, Nyamasheke, UNR and Kamonyi) out of the 20 clubs in the country have paid last year’s fee. Recently, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) released the 2008 Prohibited Substance List.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), however, has helped the education process by distilling the key changes found within the 2008 list. One change is that anti-doping agencies will change how they report abnormal changes to the urine profile of each athlete.


ANABOLIC STEROIDS: An athlete will have a signature pattern of steroids that occur in the urine and that will be fairly consistent over time. WADA, International Federations and National Anti-Doping Organizations are now starting to monitor the pattern (or profile) of steroids in the urine of individual athletes. These profiles will change in an athlete with use of anabolic steroids and certain other performance-enhancing substances and the changes can be used to create a suspicion of doping. The 2008 Prohibited List requires that any unusual pattern in a steroid screen be reported as an “atypical” result rather than as an “adverse analytical finding.” The changes to allow this type of reporting have been made under the Anabolic Agents section of the 2008 Prohibited List. A laboratory will still report an adverse analytical finding for an anabolic agent when the presence of an anabolic agent is proven by laboratory testing.

OTHER ANABOLIC AGENTS: The Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) are prohibited under this section. Members of this new family of non-steroidal substances can be designed to be anabolic and have the potential to be used in doping.
The title of the S4 category, formerly “Agents with Anti-Estrogenic Activity” has been changed to “Hormone Antagonists and Modulators.”

Myostatin is a hormone normally produced by the body that controls (limits) muscle size – blocking the myostatin allows increased muscle size. Agents that will block (or reduce) the effect of the myostatin and thus allow additional muscle development have been added to the 2008 Prohibited List as substances in this category.
The use of intravenous (IV) infusions continues to be prohibited; according to the 2008 Prohibited List an IV infusion may be administered only in “an acute medical situation” and must be followed immediately by the submission of a retroactive Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) to document the need for the infusion. This means that IV infusions may only be used for emergency medical situations and must be followed by the TUE submission to the proper authority.

(Additional reporting from WADA website)

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