NEWS that Young Africans midfielder, Mohamed Issa ‘Banka’ has failed drug test is saddening and shocking. The player has been handed a 14- month ban by the Africa Zone VI Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO) for failing a drug test.
Banka tested positive after the 2017 Council for East and Central Africa Football Association (CECAFA) Senior Challenge tournament match against Kenya.
According to the Tanzania Football Federation (TFF), the player confessed to having used marijuana and accepted the charges. He submitted his written statement on August 1st and asked for leniency.
For years now, there have been reports that a section of domestic players regularly use drugs, particularly marijuana, but there have been no evidences to nab offenders. However, a section of soccer players and officials have at times admitted that marijuana smoking among some of the players has been rampant.
Indeed, due to their scope and sophistication, doping practices are a threat to more than just the world of sport. Though first considered to be no more than a cheating problem, the doping issue has reached such proportions that it now concerns the society as a whole.
As the stakes involved in sport grow higher and the phenomenon more widespread, the moral values attached to sport are increasingly called into question, and the health of athletes increasingly being put at risk, this is why the problem has to be seriously checked and addressed critically.
It is reported that in order to enhance their performance, sportsmen use specific “methods” which optimize the qualities needed for their sport, on the basis of various physiological, biological, and psychological factors.
According to researchers, there are multiple effects and negative impact attached to the use of performance enhancing drugs in sports. Potentially fatal risks include death and it would be difficult to ignore them, since they happened during competitions and in view of the public and TV cameras.
This, however, is only the visible part of the damage done by doping: indeed, little is known about its effects once the athlete has left the sports arena or given up his/her career.
We do know for a fact that several great champions suffered from serious health problems after leaving sport. And, we also know that there is a direct relationship between certain drugs and certain health problems, such as heart disease or cancer: the existence of a casual relationship between doping and disease thus appears increasingly probable.
It is from such facts that we highly support the TFF and RADO initiatives. Let’s all use sports to promote a clean and healthy society, which is full of role models and not hooligans.