Jamaica Complying with International Anti-Doping Standards

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica is in full compliance with the international standards set by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the World Anti-Doping Code, says Executive Director of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO), Dr. Patrece Charles-Freeman.

“In order for us to be compliant with the WADA, we have to meet their international standards. They have already come here and they have given us a site visit and they have checked our procedures and our methods and we are in compliance with them”, she said.

“We are very transparent, we take our chain of custody for the samples very seriously. We have taken every precaution to make sure that the samples are secure and our staff is very competent. The training of our doping control officers and chaperones is in accordance with the very strict guidelines set by WADA, and this ensures that they are very competent to carry out their task. I can assure the country that all officials affiliated with JADCO are professional, respectful and competent”, she added.

She said that the Commission will be embarking on a major thrust to educate athletes and the public about doping in sports and associated issues.

“We just had our symposium, which was very successful, [and in terms of] our way forward, we will continue our educational programme”, Dr. Charles-Freeman told JIS News.

She said that JADCO takes the education programme very seriously, and that it is a part of the Commission’s mandate.

“One of the things that we are trying to do is to get anti-doping to be a part of the school curriculum. We will also be going around to the different federations, sporting organisations and clubs, educating them on the different aspects of Anti-Doping. We intend to be present at most sporting events, so that we can also educate the public and the athletes who are there”.

‘Don’t Need Dope to Cope’ is the theme of JADCO’s public education campaign, which was launched recently at itsr Anti-Doping Symposium in Kingston.

The campaign will utilise the music video, which is currently being produced, ring tones, advertisements in the print and electronic media, billboards, and outreach programmes which will target major events such as cricket and football matches and track and field events.

Some of the areas that JADCO will cover as part of its public education programme include doping, anti-doping rule violations, the list of prohibitive substances and methods, testing, the Anti-Doping in Sport Act, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the World Anti-Doping Code.

Dr. Charles-Freeman is encouraging athletes of every sport to familiarise themselves with the topics, since ignorance is no excuse for committing anti-doping violations. The anti-doping violations are governed by the laws of strict liability, which state that an athlete is responsible for whatever goes into his or her body or is found in his or her possession.

“Under this law, a rule violation can occur whenever a prohibitive substance is found in an athlete’s specimen, and this means that the athlete and only the athlete is responsible for whatever goes into his body”, she explained.

“So it’s black and white essentially, there is no grey area. If you are found with a prohibitive substance, and it is detected in your sample, then you are responsible for it and will face the consequences of a doping rule violation”, she emphasised.

Relevant publications, providing information on all aspects of anti-doping, are available free at the JADCO offices in Kingston.

In addition to its education programme, JADCO will be testing athletes in all sports. The Executive Director assured that its procedures will be transparent, efficient and of the highest international standards.

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