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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 According to Serufho, the athlete will be withdrawn from the scholarship because the International Olympic Committee (IOC) does not sponsor athletes with current or previous doping cases.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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Makwengwe promises fire and fury

Isaac Pheko

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ON A MISSION: Makwengwe

Gaborone United (GU)headcoach Philimon Makwengwe has sent a chilling message to his future opponents following a 0-1 loss to reigning BTC Premiership champions Township Rollers this past weekend.

A buoyant Makwengwe who is searching for at least two hungry strikers at GU declared that there will be nothing but misery in store for his future opponents. Following the closely contested Gaborone derby Makwengwe said:

“I have to improve in attack, I am not scoring goals, and I need to change my position on the log. I know the buzz was around the Gaborone Derby but that was never my concern. My team is currently in the red and I needed the points. I have to get out of the red and attacking my opponents is necessary”.

The unrelenting coach made it clear that Moyagoleele should not perform below their showing against Rollers last weekend. Makwengwe said the Money Machine will need to be “attack minded” in their next fixtures.

“What people should know is that Township Rollers have beaten me three times. They beat me twice back in 2012 during the Mascom Top 8. That was not the last time as they defeated me again at Prisons Airwick means this is now the fourth time.

The local tactician said losses to the Mma-Masire outfit should be a wake-up call for him. Nevertheless, Makwengwe said Rollers are the champions and one of the best teams not only in the country but the rest of the region.

“This is a team that gives a good brand of Botswana football. I am a champion myself, I am not a loser but I cannot beat Rollers alone.” Regarding the rest of the first round, Makwengwe said they will hit the ground running, I have no time to lament on negatives, I will not bemoan so many things.

My next opponents should stand in line and prepare to become victims.” The experienced coach said GU are a big brand and they should move away from where they are in the log standings. Losing 0-1 to a team like Rollers shows that we have to work on consistency.

The coach conceded the fact that he needs to make changes in his squad. I need about eight players including a fast winger on the left, I need a striker or two and these should be real strikers not people who play upfront.

Makwengwe said the current strikers at the team include a local who is a work in progress and a foreigner who is not giving enough to the team.“People want me to hide and I cannot, when you come into this country and you brush aside a local and even the labour law says you have to be better than them(locals), I bet in any profession.

If you want to play a striker for me, work harder.” The coach said he does not have an outright striker, which leaves a gap in the team. “A striker is somebody who pushes and is busy. If he doesn’t score himself, he has to use other players. It doesn’t matter if he is alone against four.”

Makwengwe said he needs two strikers to avoid changing the team too much. “In January, I am going into the market and I am going to buy. My next game is against Miscelleneous and they are coming down. I will have no mercy. Whoever comes I will have no mercy.”

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Old rivals faceoff

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BITTER RIVALS: Notwane Head coach Pio Paul

Notwane Football Club (Sechaba) and Mochudi Centre Chiefs (Magosi), are to battle it out in a potentially massive encounter as both clubs are coming from draws in their previous matches against Prisons IX and Black Forest respectively.

The clash is scheduled to take place at 4pm this Saturday at Molepolole Sports Complex.Sechaba, as Notwane is affectionately known were relegated back in 2015 while Magosi has been going through a financial crisis that hit the club recently.

Having played 9 games a piece, Notwane FC, currently on the 9th position in the BTC Premiership league log standings have won two, drew four and lost three games whereas Centre Chiefs who are occupying the 12th spot have won one, drew five and lost three games.

In a brief interview with Sun Sport this week, Notwane FC Public Relations Officer (PRO) Mogomotsi ‘Ace’ Orapeleng said, “We are going all out to win this fixture, taking nothing away from Centre Chiefs, we are not going to read much into what they have been going through lately hence our approach to the match will be of ‘great’ respect.

This past weekend we dropped a massive two points which could have made a difference against Prisons IX thus making us more desperate to collect three (3) points in this coming clash with Centre Chiefs,” he said.

Questioned about the anxiety brought by this particular contest he said: “Notwane FC and Mochudi Centre Chiefs are big brands of Botswana football, we are aware of the fact that the personnel have changed; new players, management and even sponsors but the ultimate truth is that these two have great following and most people are anxious to see how the events will turn out on the weekend,” said Orapeleng.

For his part, Mochudi Centre Chiefs Vice-Chairman, Clifford Mogomotsi confirmed their aim is to try and improve their position in the league log standings, “In every match we play, our approach is to always expand our position on the log, regardless of which team we play against. Notwane FC is a fantastic team but we are going to fight until the end to win the match,” said Mogomotsi.

Mogomotsi further pointed out that playing against Notwane FC has always been exulting, “Notwane FC has always given us entertaining football as we almost play a similar style of play,” said the Vice-Chairman.

On the possibility of losing points through the impending verdict after failure to honour their game against Miscellaneous a fortnight ago: “Our date with Botswana Premier League (BPL) Disciplinary Committee (DC) has been set, and we are awaiting that,” he explained.

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