Minister for Culture, Youth and Sports Justina Charles, is calling on stakeholders to continue anti doping advocacy to ensure that athletes in Dominica remain drug free.
Speaking on Monday, at the opening ceremony of a workshop geared at promoting anti-doping habits amongst Dominican athletes, Charles applauded Dominican athletes for remaining drug free and said that the fight against doping stems from the very top.
“The use of drugs to enhance performance is considered to be unethical since it provides the athlete with an unfair advantage and is against the spirit of sports. It is also detrimental to the health of our athletes,” she stated. “The younger generations look at our athletes as role models so the use of enhancing substances can have a triple effect that can create generations of substance enhancing users.”
Charles stated further that it is therefore incumbent on stakeholders to ensure that advocacy continues towards the complete elimination of doping in sports.
“The athletes and stakeholders must be made aware of the life threatening impact of doping such as heart disease amongst others,” she noted. “This is enough evidence for us all to join the awareness and advocacy campaign to ensure that we save lives of generations of athletes and maintain the integrity of sports. The athletes must also be made a part of this awareness for they must be made aware of what is expected of them in this whole equation.”
Chairman of Caribbean Regional Anti Doping Organization (RADO), Dr Adrian Lorde, congratulated the National Anti-Doping Organisation INC for their work in Dominica. He added that doping is not only the presence of a substance found in an athlete’s urine but the definition goes further.
“It is the use of a substance or method that is prohibited in the athletes bodily specimen,” he said. “It is also refusing to submit to doping controls when asked to do so by a doping control officer. Doping is also tampering or attempting to tamper with any part of the procedure of doping controls, just possession of any prohibited substance in your room, luggage is also considered as doping. Trafficking, or attempt to traffic, administering or an attempt to administer of any substance is considered doping and for all of those eight or so methods in the definition the sanction is the same.”
Lorde noted that several countries do not have enough personnel to conduct anti-doping test and education as required by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
He added that Dominica is one of the countries with this issue.
The workshop which is being held under the theme “Building Awareness and Advocacy to Eliminate Doping in Sport” is part of a UNESCO sponsored project to the tune of $20,000.
Another workshop will be held in mid September for physical education for teachers and coaches.