Parliament on Thursday 2nd March, passed the National Sports Bill, 2022 that will establish the National Anti-Doping Organisation in Uganda, in accordance with requirements of the World Anti-Doping Code.
The Bill was passed by the House in a sitting chaired by Speaker Anita Among on Thursday, 02 March 2023.
The Bill, when assented into law, will create the National Anti-Doping Organisation as an independent body to ensure transparency and prevent its decisions from being influenced.
The Private Member’s Bill moved by Hon. Moses Magogo (NRM, Budiope East County) initially proposed the establishment of a National Anti-Doping Committee through a statutory instrument by the Minster for Sports.
The Government Bill introduced by State Minister for Sports Hon. Peter Ogwang, however, sought to designate the National Council of Sports as the National Anti-Doping Organisation.
The Chairperson of the Committee on Education and Sports, Hon. John Twesigye said the proposal to have the organisation under the NCS would take away its independence.
The National Anti-Doping Organisation shall promote the World Anti-Doping Code along with associated international standards and investigate matters of doping in sports by summoning any person and examining any document or evidence.
It will also conduct anti-doping education and provide athletes and athlete support personnel with procedures for collecting and testing samples as specified by the World Anti-Doping Code.
The Bill also provides punitive action for individuals who commit the offence of illegal participation in sports activities.
According to the Bill, these include individuals who falsify information of their identity, age or level of education so as to participate in sports competitions.
“A person who contravenes this section commits an offence and is on conviction, liable to a fine not exceeding 500 currency points (Shs10 million) or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years or to both fine and imprisonment,” reads the Bill in part.
The Bill also seeks to protect the economy of the sports sector through prohibiting electronic media production of sporting events and competitions.
It states that a person will commit an offence if one captures activities at an event or competition organised by a national sports federation for commercial purposes, without authorisation.
Such an individual is liable on conviction, to a fine not exceeding 120 currency points (Shs2.4 million) or a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years, or both.
During consideration of the Bill, Hon. Asuman Basalirwa (JEEMA, Bugiri Municipality) sought to repeal the Nakivubo War Memorial Stadium Trust Act, Cap 47, and handle respective provisions within the National Sports Bill.
“We now have an opportunity to have a u single law that encompasses all sports facilities in the country,” Basalirwa said.
The Attorney General, Hon. Kiryowa Kiwanuka however, opposed the proposition saying it contravenes Article 93 of the Constitution noting that the action would have a financial implication on the new Bill.
Sports in Uganda has been governed by the National Council of Sports Act, 1964, which the new Bill seeks to repeal and thus modernize the law relating to incorporation and registration of national sports Organisations and community sports clubs.