ZAMBIAN BOXER CATHERINE PHIRI SAYS ‘SORRY’ AS SHE COMMENCES TWO YEAR SUSPENSION FROM PROFESSIONAL BOXING
…..tests positive for using a prohibited drug in the sport called ‘furosemide’.
Celebrated Zambian boxer Catherine Phiri, has apologised to her fans and the nation at large for testing positive for using a substance that is prohibited in sport.
The Zambia Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Board and National Olympic Committee of Zambia (N0CZ) on 6 October 2022 during a joint media briefing announced that Catherine Phiri voluntarily accepted to be slapped with a two-year suspension from professional boxing or any sporting competition after her samples were found with the prohibited drug [furosemide] in the sport which is not a performance enhancer but helps one to lose weight.
Furosemide is a prohibited substance classified under S5 of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) prohibited list of substances and methods 2022 (The ‘’Prohibited List’’) as a diuretic and masking agent, and it is prohibited at all times (in and out of competition). The prohibited list is incorporated by reference in article 4.1 of the anti-doping rules 14.
ZPBWCB Chairman Col. Dr Wamunyima Chingumbe disclosed that on 26 February 2022 in accordance with the World Boxing Council (WBC) competition requirements, ant-doping tests were conducted by Africa Zone VI Regional Organisation (RADO) during a bout for Catherine Phiri and Zimbabwe’s Kudakwashe Chiwandire.
He added that the boxer was charged with the commission of an anti-doping rule violation (‘’ADRV’’) under article 2.1 and article 2.2 of the anti-doping rules, on the basis that furosemide, which is prohibited, was found to be present in her sample and/or was used by her.
Col. Dr Chingumbe further announced that the suspension period commenced on 10 May 2022 when the athlete voluntarily accepted the provisional suspension.
‘’Pursuant to rule 12.1 of the procedures, the RADO on behalf of the National Olympic Committee of Zambia lodged a request with the Secretariat of the sport resolutions for the case to be considered by the international hearing panel on the papers and in accordance with rule 13.1 of the procedures, the single judge of the international hearing panel was appointed by the secretariat to consider this matter; Susan Aheran, a barrister, from Ireland. No objections were received in relation to the appointment of the dingle judge. The judge was satisfied that the athlete voluntarily accept the provisional suspension slapped on her in accordance with the terms of article 7.4.4 of the Ant-Doping Rules’’ Col. Dr Chingumbe stated.
And National Olympic Committee of Zambia (NOCZ) Secretary General Boniface Kambikambi whose committee is the current de facto RADO disclosed that a long list of updated prohibited substances in sport has been updated and will come into effect next year. Kambikambi cautioned athletes in the country to be wary of what they consume adding that there is also a named painkiller drug which will be added to the list and will be shared with local sports associations.
Meanwhile, Catherine Phiri in her apology statement read by ZPBWCB Board Secretary Posite Mbwe said she took the drug [furosemide] to help lose weight and had no knowledge that it was prohibited.
She added that in her over ten years of being a sports person she has never taken any substance to enhance her performance as is evident from the many tests she underwent.
‘’During my preparation for my world title fight, I took the drug to help lose weight quickly not knowing that the drug was on the prohibited list. I did this without the knowledge of my coach and manager, I deeply regret my actions’’. The statement was read.