JIS News

The Government is moving to fast-track anti-doping legislation through Parliament in time for the Beijing Olympics this summer.
The move is in keeping with commitments under the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Anti-Doping Convention for State Parties, which require countries to step up activities against doping, so that athletes can participate in international sporting events.
Medical officer of health and member of the International Association of Athletics Federations’ (IAAF) Medical and Anti-Doping Commission, Dr. Herbert Elliott, addressing a meeting of the Rotary Club of Kingston at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel yesterday (Jan. 3), said the legislation “is a very comprehensive one and we hope to get it through before the end of March.”
The legislation has three parts, which will be piloted by the Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission; the Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel, which will investigate violations and issue penalties set down under the recently revised WADA Code; and the Jamaica Anti-Doping Appeal Panel, which is a distinguished body of people headed by a group of lawyers and resident magistrates, and to which persons can appeal in the event of a violation.
Final appeals will be made to the Court of Arbitration in Switzerland, the final body for disciplinary matters set up by the Olympic movement years ago.
Dr. Elliot, who was representing Minister of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Olivia Grange at the meeting, said in addition to the legislation, Government will be undertaking a number of measures to regulate and monitor doping locally.
He said that an Anti-Doping Sports Unit has also been established in the Ministry and, in keeping with the UNESCO Convention, Jamaica will set up doping control bodies and establish bilateral arrangements with countries where athletes are stationed. “So, for the testing purposes, we are setting up bilateral arrangements in the United States, and in Europe, so that our athletes, while on the road, will be tested, and if they violate the rules, the appropriate sanctions will take place,” he explained. He also informed that an Inter-ministerial Conference comprising the Ministries of Health, National Security, Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade and the Pharmaceutical Council, have formed a body to keep banned substances out of Jamaica. In the meantime, Dr. Elliot commended the island’s doctors, whom, he noted “have been meticulous in not prescribing banned stuff to our athletes. I know of no doctor in Jamaica, who so far, has ever given an anabolic steroid injection to any of our athletes, and this is very commendable for a profession that elsewhere has sold its soul for big money.”
The IAAF official also cited “the extensive education programme to prepare Jamaica’s world-class track and field athletes”, from as early as elementary school, to compete on the international sporting arena while resisting the temptations of dope. “Therefore, our coaches, our administrators, our teachers must know the rules,” he said, while urging parents and mentors to “see to it that the substances that your athletes or your children take do not have the banned list of drugs.”

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