Lydia Jele Loses Her Olympic Scholarship
Local athlete Lydia Jele has lost her Olympic Scholarship after testing positive for a banned substance late last year. The Olympian forms part of the nine athletes that were given the Olympic Solidarity scholarship for the 2017-2020 period.
According to the Botswana National Olympic Committee (BNOC) Chief Executive Officer Tuelo Serufho, the athlete will be withdrawn from the scholarship because the International Olympic Committee (IOC) does not sponsor athletes with current or previous doping cases. Meanwhile BAA spokesperson Ikgopoleng Ramatshaba said they will only contact Jele after the World Anti -Doping Agency (WADA) makes a ruling on her case.
Speaking during a media briefing earlier this week, Serufho said investigations are still ongoing and they are yet to hear from the relevant anti- doping authorities. “BNOC awaits the analytical findings and the final decision of authorities to determine the future of the promising female athlete,” Serufho said. Should Jele be found guilty, she is likely to be banned from competing in athletics for a period not less than four years.
Lydia Jele has barely said anything since her suspension. She is not the first prominent athlete to test positive for a banned substance. Amantle Montsho also tested positive and was suspended from the field for two years. A ruling is yet to be made on Jele’s case.