The Namibian Horse Racing Association (NHRA) this week told The Villager that doping control in horse racing has not been mentioned in the constitution, thus ruling out the control of doping of horses in the much-loved sporting discipline.
The association, amongst many other problems, is also not able to fully promote the horse racing sport because of limited funding.
The development officer of the association, Stanley Tjozongoro, said “Doping in general is against the law in Namibia, but it’s not stated anywhere in the constitution that horse owners aren’t allowed to dope their horses. That rule should be amended in the constitution. The N.H.R.A isn’t allowed or compelled to enforce anti-doping. If horse-owners want to dope their horses, we can’t stop them”.
In 2012 the horse racing world experienced an unprecedented number of doping scandals as horse-owners would stop at nothing to win high profile races. Tjozongoro, however, noted that no such cases have been reported in Namibia thus far with only unconfirmed rumours circulating.
The Namibian Sports Commission (NSC) allocates only N$20 000 annually to the association, while the rest of its funding is sponsorships sourced.
The NSC’s funding is supposed to assist the association in promoting the sports but the amount from the sports supervisory body is too little to cover even the most basic expenses in the administration of the sport.
“What can one really do with N$20 000? That amount is nothing to a big organisation such as the horse racing association. In order to reach our goal and achievements we need funding. We don’t have any major sponsorships. If we had sponsorships we would be able to take part in major competitions that would help us make our mark in the sporting industry”, said Tjozongoro.
He said that the sport needs more support from its stakeholders for a push in the right direction, “The current executives have attained their positions and with those positions comes responsibilities, just as they accepted those positions they too should accept their responsibilities”.
Arnold Lopser the president of NHRA could only tell The Villager that he is satisfied with the progress made by the sport despite its challenges.