Next week’s Rugby World Cup 2023 quarterfinal might see the Springboks playing under a neutral flag and unable to sing the national anthem.

The same applies to the Proteas at the Cricket World Cup in India which starts today.

That’s because the SA Government has not met a deadline to amend the outdated Drug-Free Sport Act to comply with the latest World Anti-Doping Code (Wada) that came into force in 2021.

The Daily Maverick reports that the code is a global policy that is agreed and adopted by both the sports movement and governments from around the world (public authorities).

Wada’s revised anti-doping code came into effect on 1 January 2021 and all member countries are expected to comply. 

To date, more than 700 sporting bodies and federations have accepted the new code.

On 23 September, Wada issued a statement confirming that SA had not updated its anti-doping code and has fallen foul of Wada’s mandatory compliance requirements and now faces consequences.

If SA has not complied fully by 13 October, the first steps of the consequences of non-compliance will start. And one of those consequences is not being allowed to participate under a national flag.

‘Wada wishes to update stakeholders regarding the Executive Committee’s decision to endorse 10 recommendations of Wada’s independent Compliance Review Committee,’ a statement by Wada noted.

It said the two National Anti-Doping Organisations (Nados) in question are Bermuda and SA; and the Major Event Organisation in question is the Pan American Sports Organisation.

‘In the cases of the Bermuda and SA Nados, the non-compliance is a result of legislation not in line with the 2021 Code.’

The DM notes that Sports Minister Zizi Kodwa said ‘we have worked tirelessly to amend legislation as recommended by Wada’.

‘There has also been input by Wada in working with us to draft Saids’ Amendment Bill, which will now be taken through the SA Constitutional process of finalising a Bill,’ he said.

Full Daily Maverick report