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The Government of Jamaica has said it was fully committed to combating doping in sports, and “will do everything in its power to safeguard the integrity, values and spirit in sport.”
Local Government, Community Development and Sport Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, in a speech delivered by Chairman of the Institute of Sport (INSPORT), Dr. Winston Dawes, at the CARICOM Taskforce on Sports meeting yesterday (Sept. 22), said that the government was taking the necessary steps to “ensure a drug free environment, which .dissuades athletes from using prohibited substances and prohibited methods.”
According to Mrs. Simpson-Miller, the government believed that the final draft of the International Convention Against Doping in Sport, which is expected to be adopted at the 33rd General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in Paris next month, “meets the objective of providing an internationally recognised framework to ensure that governments take action against doping in sport.”
She added that as part of the objective against doping, governments were also pursuing measures to “those already being taken by the sporting movement, including anti-doping activities at the national level, international co-operation, education and training and research.”
Furthermore, Minister Simpson-Miller explained that if accepted, the Convention “would also provide support for the World Anti-Doping Code and the international standards as provided by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), recognising the importance of the code and standards in harmonising policy and practice in the sporting movement worldwide.”
The Sport Minister pointed out that as the use of prohibited methods and substances to enhance athletic performance was potentially harmful to the health of athletes, it was encumbent on Caribbean governments to ensure that a doping-free environment was maintained within the region, where athletes were strongly discouraged from using prohibited substances.
Some 50 delegates from 11 countries and representatives from several international sporting bodies are participating in the three-day conference, which ends on Saturday (Sept. 24) at the Jamaica Conference Centre downtown, Kingston.
Among the representatives are sport ministers, permanent secretaries, Olympic committee members from the region, as well as members of the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA); International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF); and WADA.
The conference follows a taskforce meeting held in Barbados in June, where a number of sports related-issues were discussed, including the free movement of sports persons throughout CARICOM; the revival of the Senior Caribbean Games; and the development of a regional anti-doping programme.
It was decided at June’s meeting that the issues, which formed the basis for discussion, would be explored in greater detail at the current conference.