Barely 24 hours after first reading, Tinubu’s Anti-Doping Bill scales second reading at Senate

Sharon EboesomiMay 22, 20244 min

The World Anti-Doping Code is a core document that provides the framework for anti-doping policies, rules, and regulations within sport organisations and among public authorities.

Barely 24 hours after first reading, Tinubu’s Anti-Doping Bill scales second reading in Senate

The Senate on Wednesday passed for second reading, a National Anti-Doping Bill, seeking to prevent Nigerian athletes from consuming performance enhancing substances before or during sporting competitions.

OrderPaper recalls that the executive bill which was read for the first on Tuesday, 21st May, 2024 was earlier sent to the Senate on last Thursday, 16 May, 2024 for consideration and approval.

The bill is titled “A Bill for an Act to domesticate and enforce in Nigeria the international convention against doping in sports, establish the Nigeria anti-doping centre to implement Nigeria’s obligation to the world anti-doping code, international standards and for related matters.”

READ ALSO: President Tinubu transmits anti-doping bill to the Senate

The World Anti-Doping Code is a core document that provides the framework for anti-doping policies, rules, and regulations within sport organisations and among public authorities. 

In his lead debate, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central) noted that the bill sent by President Tinubu is a part of the country’s direct response to the domestication of the International Convention against Doping in Sports. 

He said, “This multilateral UNESCO Convention/Treaty was adopted by member states at the General Conference held in October, 2005 in Paris, as measures to be % adopted by nationals to prevent and eliminate drug doping in sports.

“Therefore, Nigeria, as one of the signatories to the Treaty, is expected to domesticate the Treaty in order to tackle the ugly menace of doping amongst our sports men and women.

“The Bill, in a nutshell, seeks to domesticate the UNESCO Convention against Doping in Sports to, among other things, establish the National Anti-Doping Centre for the purpose of combating doping in sports in compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code and UNESCO Convention. 

“The objectives of the Bill are, to wit: Domesticate the International Convention against Doping in Sports, establish an independent body charged with the responsibility for the implementation of the World Anti-Doping Code, and International standards subscribed to, by Nigeria; – Protect the rights of athletes to participate in doping-free sporting activities; – Promote fair and equal treatment of all athletes and their health;

“Co-ordinate and harmonise effective sports anti-doping programme at the national and international levels, with regard to detection, deterrence and prevention of doping; and Provide measures for the prevention and control of doping in sports.

“It is instructive to note that Nigeria, as part of its efforts to implement the anti-doping code in line with the UNESCO Convention, had, in October, 2011, made an interim arrangement whereby the National Anti-Doping Committee was established. However, in legislation, its Committee was not backed by legal instrument or legislation, its Operation and objectivity remain weak and unattainable.

“As a result, the Current administration deemed it necessary to introduce this Bill because of its strategic importance and in recognition of the fact that Nigeria is a sport-loving country with numerous sports enthusiasts, who view sports as an epicentre of unity and togetherness. Therefore, it is imperative that the Senate aligns itself with the reasoning of the Executive as this Bill seeks to bring about improvement and ensure fair-play in the sporting environment.”

The President of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio thereafter referred the bill to the Senate Committee on Sports as well as its committee on Drugs and Narcotics to report back in two weeks.

STAR Check: Nigerians, particularly, constituents of Ekiti Central district, can keep tabs on the legislative performance of Sen. Bamidele throughout the 10th senate here. 

Sharon Eboesomi

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