The Minister of Youth and Sports, Hon. Mustapha Ussif has discussed and agreed on an anti-doping testing agreement between Ghana’s Sports Ministry and the Egyptian Ministry of Sports.
Hon. Ussif, who is in Cairo for World Anti-Doping Agency Foundation and Management Board meetings, paid a courtesy call on the Egyptian Minister of Sports, Prof. Ashraf Sobhy, to discuss bilateral issues between the two countries.
The discussion, which centred on many areas of mutual benefits, also discussed the blood sampling test for doping control activities. Hon Mustapha Ussif was able to reach an agreement with his Egyptian counterpart for free blood sample testing for Ghanaian athletes at all times. This effort comes at a time to renew and boost the relationship in sports between the two countries.
According to the agreement, Ghana will send blood samples of athletes for doping control to Egypt for free testing.
Athletes are tested all over the world to ensure they are adhering to sports’ anti-doping regulations.
South Africa is the only African country with an accredited lab that accepts urine samples. However, Prof. Sobhy, Egypt’s Minister of Sports, informed Ghana’s Sports Minister that Egypt has now acquired the blood sampling test kit, which is more reliable than urine, and that Egypt would gladly assist Ghana by receiving samples and running the test for free.
He also expressed his willingness to share their sports development models to help Ghana in repositioning its sports sector to maximise the sector’s benefits, as requested by Hon. Ussif.
Egypt’s sports sector budget is currently over $300 million, with half coming from the central government and the other half generated internally through sporting activities and facilities usage.
“Egypt has structured its sports sector to attract significant investment across the sporting disciplines so I will consider the relationship between the two countries and support you with the necessary exchange programmes and technical support to ensure your country reaps massively from sports, the Egypt Sports Minister added.
Mustapha Ussif thanked his Egyptian counterpart for his reception and assured him of a continuous cordial relationship between the two countries.
Hon. Ussif is currently in Cairo, Egypt as a Foundation Board member representing the Sub-Sahara region at the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) conference.
He is the first Ghanaian Minister for Youth and Sports to be appointed to the board.
Other African regional representatives include Egypt’s and Madagascar’s Ministers of Sports, who represent Africa’s three slots on the Foundation Board.
Hon. Ussif is scheduled to speak at the conference regarding Ghana’s progress on the Anti-Doping Bill, which is currently being prepared for presentation to Parliament, as well as give an update on Ghana’s preparations for the 13th African Games in 2023.
The platform will also be used by the Minister to solicit technical and equipment support for the African Games and Ghana’s Anti-Doping Committee.
Hon. Ussif was in the company of the Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health who doubles as the Anti-Doping Committee Chairman of Ghana, Hon. Dr. Nana Ayew Afrieye.