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Regional anti-doping organisation meets in St Kitts

BASSETERRE, St Kitts (SKNIS) — Financing of the Regional Anti-Doping Organization (RADO) is on the agenda when the Caribbean sub-regional body convenes in St Kitts on Saturday for a two day meeting.

Leroy Greene, chairperson of the St Kitts Anti-Doping Organisation and a board member of RADO explained that, while the body had been funded by Australia and Canada over the past four years, new resources would now have to be found. He further revealed that there would be a review of each member-country’s activities.

According to Greene, 12 of the 14 member countries, which span from The Bahamas to Suriname, would be represented at the meeting. Aruba and the British Virgin Islands will attend with observer status.

The RADO board member said that the organization is very active in the Caribbean and continually coordinates the testing of athletes for performing enhancement drugs. Testing is carried out on regional athletes as well as on international sportspersons who perform in the Caribbean. As such, this included athletes who took part in the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2007, and the Women’s World T-20 matches, which took place in 2010.

Locally, the two certified doping control officers (DCO) are Doctors Reginald O’Loughlin and Nordica Phillip. They ensure that “out of competition testing” occurs before national athletes depart for regional or international competitions. As such, the national track and field athletes as well as those participating in other sports have to provide urine samples before leaving the island.

Greene further explained that testing is not limited to performing enhancement drugs but can include performing enhancement methods, such as blood doping which is a procedure whereby blood is removed from the body, enriched with oxygen and then returned. This he said is a life-threatening process.

Greene said there are prospective areas for collaboration with other sectors.

“At the moment, our thrust is chiefly education,” Greene emphasized. “We encourage our athletes to realize that cheating is morally wrong. Additionally, the UNESCO Convention which we have signed on to promotes doping free sport. We need to ensure the health of our athletes and this impacts our national resources. As such, there are implications for the passing of anti-doping legislation inclusive of trafficking sports enhancement products.”

The RADO meeting will conclude on Sunday.

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