Anti-doping agency steps up a notch
A new world anti-doping code which embraces all governments, national Olympic committees, anti-doping organizations and national federations will be implemented come January 1, 2015 and Barbados will be a part of that group, says chairman of Caribbean RADO and the National Anti-Doping Commission, Dr Adrian Lorde.
In fact, the chairman went even further and told those present this morning at Marriott Hotel, Hastings, Christ Church, where a session was held to inform journalists on how to respond to cases dealing with anti-doping situations, that Barbados would be ready by the end of this month to submit their new rules to the anti-doping agency as well as the Barbados Olympic Association.
“The world anti-doping code is a document which allows all countries to have one code, one set of rules and regulations in place in the fight against doping in sports which makes it easy for the athletes and athletes’ support personnel to understand their rules and the regulation methods that are used. It incorporates not only regulations but also international standards for testing, therapeutic use exemption where athletes who have medical conditions may need to apply for permission to use certain medications,” he said.
Lorde who has been the face of anti-doping in Barbados for over 15 years told Barbados TODAY they had strengthened several areas in the code and among them was the athletes’ support personnel. He added that the whereabouts of athletes was also an issue which was strengthened in order to help situations where the investigation arms must cooperate with anti-doping organizations to help with intelligence and trafficking.
“The athletes support personnel has now been strengthened in the code where the coach, trainer, manager and team officials, if found to be associated with the doping process, are also now subjected to a sanction of six years in the first offence. Whereabouts of athletes is also an issue which has been strengthened because the officials need to be aware of where the athletes are over a period of time and athletes therefore need to give information through a programme which is normally done by the World Anti-Doping Agency system.
“So you [athletes] can say where you are everyday between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. In that time, you should be available in an hour’s period for testing and if you are not where you say you are that is called a ‘miss test’. And if in a twelve months period you miss three tests that is the same thing as if you were found with an anti-doping rule violation,” Lorde explained.
He also made public that the organization would work closely with customs, police and post offices where trafficking was concerned in order to fight against doping in sports.
One of the issues, which he said came up with the code, was related to sanctions where athletes could be hit with a four-year ban for their first offence. However, Lorde made it clear that there were certain sports and certain circumstances where that four -year ban could be reduced once the individual cooperated.
During this morning session, Barbadian swimmer Nicholas Neckles signed a four-year contract with Caribbean RADO as an ambassador. According to the contract, Neckles will be involved in the signing of merchandise, writing feature articles, attending seminars, representing Caribbean RADO at events, conducting media interviews on their involvement in the programme and signing autographs.
The former 1994 CARIFTA gold medallist said it was important that people supported Caribbean RADO.
“I would like to see RADO look at the legalities of certain situations because it seems as though when an athlete has significant financial resources behind them they can get a lawyer and a four year ban becomes a one year ban and then they can do that retroactive thing from a one year ban to six months and I think that is the next step that RADO should look at,” Neckles said.
He added that winning was great but it could not be all and athletes needed to face reality that if they are clean there is a strong possibility that they may never become world champion and they had to accept that.