Boks to be stripped of SA flag?

If the South African government does not update its anti-doping code by October 13, the defending world champions will not be allowed to participate under the national flag or to sing the national anthem.

The Springboks are under threat of playing a potential world cup quarter-final under neutral colours, after government failed to comply with anti-doping regulations.

According to a report by Daily Maverick, government missed the deadline to update the anti-doping act so that it complies with the latest World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) code.

The revised code, which was agreed upon and accepted by over 700 sporting federations around the world, came into effect in January 2021.

However, a statement released by Wada in September confirmed that the South African government had still not updated its anti-doping code and will now face consequences.

A new deadline has been set for October 13. If government has not updated the code by then, South Africa’s national teams will face consequences of non-compliance.

The consequences include not being allowed to participate under the national flag and not being permitted to sing the national anthem.

According to Daily Maverick, government was warned by independent body, the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (Saids), which oversees anti-doping programmes in the country, a year ago.

“The South African Government process for promulgating legislation is thorough and comprehensive. Any legislation, including amendments, must meet the muster of the South African Constitution and cannot contradict or nullify any existing laws,” Sport Minister Zizi Kodwa said in a statement.

“I officially communicated with Wada President Witold Bańka on South Africa’s position, and have requested to meet with him urgently.

“South Africa is committed to anti-doping in sport. Saids has done much work to meet the evolving dynamics of compliance in global sport on matters of anti-doping, anti-corruption, governance reforms, child safeguarding, and data protection.

“The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture will continue to expend all efforts to get the Amendment Bill adopted expeditiously.”

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