Fifa, SA medical practitioners to meet on doping

Most of South Africa’s leading sports-medicine practitioners will gather in Kimberley on October 5 and 6 to deliberate on the health, medical and doping control requirements for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

The medical workshop, organised by the 2010 Fifa World Cup Organising Committee South Africa (OC), Fifa and the South African Department of Health, will be held at the newly established Mayibuye Sports Science Institute in Galeshewe.

The workshop will be conducted by Dr Michel D’Hooghe (chairperson of the Fifa sports medicine committee and also a Fifa executive member), Professor Jiri Dvorak (Fifa chief medical officer) and Dr Victor Ramathesele (OC’s medical officer and a Fifa sports medical committee member).

Dr D’Hooghe will address the workshop on Fifa’s strategy in the fight against doping, while Professor Dvorak will speak on Fifa’s Football for Health in Africa programme, as well as its out-of-competition and in-competition doping control procedures, while Dr Ramathesele will give an overview of the OC’s medical plans at the venues and headquarters.

The OC will appoint 10 venue medical officers who will be in charge of the overall management of medical services at the match venues. An OC medical advisory board will also be appointed.

The panel will include well-known medical professionals such as Professor Tim Noakes from the world-renowned Sports Science Institute in Cape Town, neurosurgeon Professor Sam Mokgokong, Professor Bongani Mayosi, a respected Cape Town-based cardiologist, Mr Fahmy Galant of the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport, Professor Mike Lambert (Sports Science Institute) and Dr Pieter van der Merwe of the World Anti-Doping Agency-accredited Doping Control Laboratory in Bloemfontein.

The aim of the workshop is for Fifa and the OC to engage with the medical officers and the OC’s medical advisory board in order for them to gain a better understanding of the Fifa requirements for the provision of health, medical and doping control services for the Fifa Confederations Cup 2009, 2010 Soccer World Cup and related events.

It also aims to demonstrate the expertise and resources already available in the country to execute these functions effectively.

“South Africa is among the world’s leaders in the field of sports medicine. We at the organising committee are very confident in the provision of high-calibre medical services to teams and visitors at the event. The workshop in Kimberley will be an important milestone in this regard and will be a good opportunity for some of our country’s top medical practitioners to constructively engage with their Fifa counterparts,” said chief executive officer Dr Danny Jordaan.

The workshop will be officially opened on Friday October 5 in a ceremony to be addressed by the Premier of the Northern Cape, Dipuo Peters. South Africa’s Minister of Health, Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, will attend the workshop on October 5 to present the government’s health guarantees and its support of the healthcare activities for the tournament and related events.—Sapa

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