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Jele loses Olympic Scholarship

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Local middle distance runner Lydia Jele is currently under provisional suspension from all athletics activities. This comes after the 400m runners allegedly tested positive for banned substances late last year. Speaking during a media briefing earlier this week, Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) Chief Executive Officer Tuelo Serufho said investigations are still ongoing and they are yet to hear from the relevant anti- doping authorities. “BNOC awaits the analytical findings and the final decision of authorities to determine the future of the promising female athlete,” Serufho said. Should Jele be found guilty, she is likely to be banned from competing in athletics for a period not less than four years.

Moreover, Jele is most likely to miss out on a lifetime opportunity if she is banned from athletics. The Olympian forms part of the nine athletes that were given the Olympic Solidarity scholarship for the 2017-2020 period. According to Serufho, the athlete will be withdrawn from the scholarship because the International Olympic Committee (IOC) does not sponsor athletes with current or previous doping cases. Meanwhile BAA spokesperson Ikgopoleng Ramatshaba said they will only contact Jele after the World Anti -Doping Agency (WADA) makes a ruling on her case.

As far as he was aware, the athlete is somewhere in the city doing nothing. On the other hand, Africa Zone 6 Regional Anti- Doping Organisation regional manager Andrew Kamanga is not a happy following the rise of the doping cases in the country. Kamanga said it is sad because they have left no stone unturned in educating athletes and sensitizing them about all banned substances. “It is not lack of trying on our side, we do everything in our power to educate them, we even gave them a list of all the prohibited substances,” he said.He said Botswana has been having unexpected mixed fortunes lately. Top athletes who they least expected would fall victim to doping have fallen into the trap one way or the other.

Kamanga sympathised with Jele saying she was at the peak of her career only for everything to come crumbling down when she least expected it. Kamanga is worried that should the situation remain the same, young and upcoming athletes might also find it hard to stay away from banned substances. The regional manager went on to say national associations should reinforce measures and rise to the occasion. “Doping is very serious and disturbing issue; we need associations to start taking it seriously. Majority of associations locally have no personnel dealing with anti-doping matters yet when athletes test positive we get shocked,” Kamanga said. He advised that Botswana should start testing athletes more often to prevent future surprises.

“From the little funds received from Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC), associations should prioritise and reserve some for doping tests. One would be shocked as to how many doping cases we can find before athletes are caught at international level.”

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Zapata takes charge

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TAKING CHARGE: Zapata assumes his position

Township Rollers Head Coach Rodolfo Zapata was this past Tuesday in charge of the team’s training session, a first since he was appointed Rollers coach in November 2018.

Sun Sports has been reliably informed by sources that were present at the morning session that the Argentine coach was at the grounds and it was all clear that he is now the man in control of the team.

Zapata was made to jump through hoops before he could finally take over the reins at Rollers. First he had to battle with his former club, Gaborone United to cancel his active working permit with the team. The matter dragged for more than a month.

When GU finally gave in, Zapata’s qualifications as a coach were questioned. This came as shocking given that Zapata is GU’s former coach. Nevertheless, a source within Botswana Football Association (BFA) circles has told this paper that Zapata was cleared by CAF last week. As things stand Zapata will be expected on the bench this coming Friday when they play Notwane. If not, then his first job will be the Mascom Top 8 Semi-final against GU next week.

The Rollers management could not be reached yesterday as their phones rang unanswered and repeated efforts revealed that the team spokesperson, Bafana Pheto is currently across borders.
Meanwhile, Zapata’s arrival comes at a crucial time following Rollers ‘s embarrassing defeat to the hands of rivals Jwaneng Galaxy this past weekend. Galaxy cut short the endless winning streak of the defending championships to serve them their second loss since the beginning of the league with a score line of 3-1.

Of late , unconfirmed reports suggest that players had grown impatient with the caretaker coach, Thabo Motang. They differed and questioned his decisions on the pitch. Motang is now reported to have gone back to the department he knows best, goalkeeper coach.

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Moluba wants a replica of previous success

Tshepo Kehemile

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PLAY MAKER: Moalosi is a prolific goal scorer

Township Rollers influential midfielder, Edwin Moalosi confirmed his ambitions to help his team to repeat their run in the previous season to win both Botswana Telecommunication (BTC) Premiership league and the Mascom Top 8. Moluba as he is affectionately known said this after their 3-1 loss to Jwaneng Galaxy at the National Stadium this past Saturday.

Rollers 2018/19 BTC league campaign have been impressive thus far as they are still at the summit of the log despite their loss over the weekend. The Galaxy loss was their second, having lost to the other mining team, Orapa United. However, they have already reached the semi-finals of the Mascom Top 8.

Moalosi told Sun Sport that this season is not going to be a walk in the path, “It is not easy being the defending Champions as you become the team to beat, every team will try hard not to give you space to play or attack hence all the games we play become a mammoth task,” said Moalosi.

Moalosi further stated that being eliminated from the Confederations of African Football (CAF) Champions league early was a blessing in disguise, “We are now out of the CAF Champions league and we can now focus on doing well in the domestic league and cup tournament (Mascom Top 8).

In addition, we need to double our efforts as players so that we reach our ultimate goals,” he said.
Quizzed about his individual goals as a player despite picking so many injuries this season, he said, “Injuries are part of the game, it only depends on every player as to how you respond to it, I am always positive regardless of the circumstances I come across. I want to increase my goal tally and hopefully improve my assists as well,” explained.

However, Jwaneng Galaxy Captain, Olebogeng Malebye who scored a marvellous curler on the day said they are going to give Rollers a run for their money this season, “We are going to fight to death to try and leapfrog Rollers and eventually win the league as it has been our aim for a long time. And finally, we managed to beat them after a very long time trying with no success,” said Malebye.

Jwaneng Galaxy’s season is slowly improving as they are now second on the log, and Orapa United seems to be struggling a bit but the league is still open. Another round of BTC Premiership league matches is expected to continue this coming weekend with a couple of interesting fixtures to look out to including Township Rollers and Notwane FC on Friday at Molepolole and Security Systems and Mochudi Centre Chiefs on Saturday at the same venue, just to mention a few.

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