Commitments to increase educational activities and carry out more testing were two of the outcomes of the Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO) Meeting which was held in St. Kitts and Nevis, last weekend.
Leroy Greene, Chairperson of the St. Kitts and Nevis National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO) and a Board Member of RADO explained to the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service that among the chief activities of each member is educating about health in sport, as such discouraging all performance enhancing drugs and methods. The 12 participating RADO member-countries, which span the Caribbean island chain from the Bahamas to Suriname, along with the two observers attending the meeting, agreed to such. Additionally, Mr. Greene explained that annually, the World Anti-Doping Organisation (WADO) provides free tests to each NADO. Testing, he said, is expensive due to the two-way courier cost as well as the laboratory fees so it was greatly appreciated when WADO agreed to increase the number from three to five.
The St. Kitts and Nevis NADO Chair noted that an increase in both out of competition testing and in competition testing was being encouraged.
“This is in an attempt to let our athletes know that once they are performing at a certain level, they can be asked to test at any time,” Mr. Greene emphasized. “There are 35 labs internationally that do the types of tests that we require, here in the Federation, we send our specimens to Montreal.”
This is in keeping with Minister responsible for Sports, Hon Glenn Phillip’s reminder to RADO members.
“As our nations prepare for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, we must strive to ensure that our athletes maintain the positive reputation that we have achieved and they protect themselves from the results associated with the use of such dangerous substances,” Minister Phillip advised.
Additional outcomes of the RADO Meeting included the voting of the two observers Aruba and the British Virgin Islands into full membership, making the Caribbean RADO 16 members strong. The Caribbean has the distinction of being the largest RADO internationally. Strategic action was also proposed to boost the financing of the organsation which has its headquarters in Barbados. Among immediate action, is a letter urging the Barbados Government to provide pledged funding.
Next year, the Caribbean RADO will take place in the Cayman Islands.