National Policy Against Doping in Sports Tabled in The House


Following Cabinet’s approval of the Jamaican Policy Against Doping in Sport on May 16, the 52-page document was tabled in the House of Representatives yesterday (May 31).
The policy provides the basis for Jamaica’s anti-doping programme and consists of the general principles, rules and standards for national sports federations, their affiliate members, clubs, teams, associations or leagues; national leagues not affiliated with a national sports federation; participants in any capacity in any activity organized, held, convened or authorized by a national event organisation; all athletes, support personnel and participants in sports.
It incorporates the mandatory and other portions of the World Anti-Doping Programme, including the rules laid out in the World Anti-doping Code, the mandatory international standards, and the models of best practice.
The Jamaican Policy Against Doping in Sport aims to promote a drug free environment for sport in the island, and provide all Jamaicans, particularly athletes and athlete support personnel, with protection of their right to participate in doping-free sport, and thereby promote health, fairness and equality for all participants in sport.
It also serves to ensure coordinated, harmonized and effective anti-doping programmes at the national and international levels regarding the detection, deterrence and prevention of doping.
The policy serves to respect the rights of individuals and sporting organisations through appropriate fair procedures for, and means to oversee; doping control, determinations of anti-doping rule violations and their consequences, and other decisions made in the interest of drug-free sport.
A key element of the anti-doping programme is the establishment of a national anti-doping organization in the form of the Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO). Cabinet recently gave drafting instructions for the appropriate legislation to be fast-tracked to establish JADCO and its related bodies. The Commission will be responsible for maintaining and carrying out the Jamaican anti-doping programme, with the cooperation and support of the various national sports associations.
According to a Ministry Paper, which outlines the purpose of the policy, the Government of Jamaica is to designate and recognize JADCO as having the appropriate authority to execute Jamaica’s anti-doping programme and ensure that it is consistent with the World Anti-doping Programme and other international best practices. Until appropriate legislation is passed, an interim committee will prepare the groundwork for the establishment of the Commission.
To date, the World Anti-Doping Code has been signed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and most of the major international sports organizations, led by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee, international federations, national olympic and paralympic committees and national anti-doping organizations, among others.
However, for most countries, the code cannot be legally binding under public law as it is a private non-government instrument and therefore, governments are not asked to be signatories.
Picking up on the momentum built by WADA and recognising that the sporting movement must be backed with immediate action by governments, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) General Conference, at its 32nd session in 2003, set out a framework for the presentation of the new International Convention Against Doping in Sport.
This is to be presented for approval to the 33rd session of the UNESCO General conference in France in October of this year. It is anticipated that the Convention will be ratified by most member states on or before the Turin Winter Olympic Games in February 2006.
The final draft of the Convention seeks to provide an internationally recognized framework to: ensure that governments take action against doping in sport; provide support for the World Anti-Doping Code and International Standards as provided for by WADA, recognising the importance of the code and standards in harmonizing policy and practice in the sporting movement worldwide.
Each party to the Convention is expected to adopt appropriate measures to achieve the stated objectives, including implementing legislation, regulation, policies or administrative practices.

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