Senate passes national anti-doping bill

The Senate has passed the National Anti-Doping Bill seeking to domesticate the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s convention against doping in sports.

The Upper legislative chamber passed the bill for the third time, after the adoption of a report presented by the Chairman of the Committees on Sports Development and Judiciary, Human Rights & Legal Matters on the National Anti-Doping Bill, 2024, Sen.Kawu Abdulrahman.

The bill, among other things, also seeks to establish the National Anti-Doping Centre to combat doping in sports, in compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code.

The Code is a core document, that provides the framework for anti-doping policies, rules, and regulations within sports organisations and among public authorities. It is designed to harmonise anti-doping policies and ensure the standards are the same for all athletes.

The executive bill which now makes it incumbent for Nigeria, to domesticate the treaty to tackle the ugly menace of doping amongst sportsmen and women, was read for the second time in May, and has scaled the third reading.

President Bola Tinubu had last month, urged the Senate to review and approve the bill. He argued that it would prohibit athletes from using substances that enhance their performance.

Tinubu’s request was conveyed in a letter read on the floor of the upper legislative chamber by the Deputy Senate President, Jibrin Barau.

The president stated that the bill would establish a legal framework for the formation of the National Anti-Doping Organization.

He further emphasised that the establishment of the agency, was essential for Nigeria to meet the standards outlined in the World Anti-Doping Code.

“In accordance with the provisions of section 58 (2) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, I forward herewith the National Anti-Doping Bill 2024 for the kind consideration of the senate,” the letter reads.

“The National Anti-Doping Bill 2024 seeks to create an administratively independent National Anti-Doping organization which is a cardinal requirement for Nigeria to achieve compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code and the international standard for code compliance by signatures.

“The enactment of this vital legislation will also help Nigeria avoid the imposition of signatory consequences, the inclusion of laws of hosting and participating rights at regional, continental, and world championships or major athletic events

“It is my hope that this submission will receive the humankind expeditious consideration of the distinguished members of the Senate of Federal Nigeria for passage of the same to law before the Olympic Games seminar in Paris in July 2024,” Tinubu wrote.