Banned substance alertness heightened after Sipaia’s case

By Ulimasao Fata ,

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Ms Iuniarra Sipaia.

Ms Iuniarra Sipaia.

The recent suspension of Weightlifter, Iuniarra Sipaia, who tested positive for a banned substance, has prompted the Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee (S.A.S.N.O.C.) to work towards preventing this issue from happening again.

“We have a representative and board member that has been appointed to lead a Commission to assess and take on the responsibility of making sure that they collect the information on anti-doping and to make sure that everyone is alert,” Team Samoa Chef de Mission, Nynette Sass, told the Samoa Observer.

 “It’s good stay on top and keep up with the latest information about the anti-doping in Sports.”

Early last year, Ms. Sipaia suffered a knee injury.

A local doctor at the national hospital suggested that her knee be injected with a cortisone injection, which he said was still allowed in the world’s drug testing list. 

It was later found that the drug injected into Ms. Sipaia was against the International Weightlifting Federation rule book.

Nynette said what happened to the weightlifter is unfortunate and it’s something local officials need to be alert about.

“I think it’s important for us the Samoa Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee to continue to help our Coaches and Managers by circulating the latest version of Oceania Anti-Doping,” she said. 

“It is important that we stay on top and that’s really what I want to say.”

Nynette added that S.A.S.N.O.C. is addressing this issue during their workshops and seminars.

“The workshops we conducted this week also involves discussion of this issue.

“Just before we went to Vanuatu, we conducted a seminar to all the Coaches and Managers about anti-doping.” 

Nynette also believes the drug being injected to Ms. Sipaia was not steroids.

“It was a drug that we thought that could get the pain away from her.

“We use it as a pain killer and it doesn’t involve performance enhancing sort of drug.”

She added right now they were looking at getting the right information for players and athletes.

“We are looking at getting the players tested and try and circulate the accurate and latest information that will help us more about anti-doping.”

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