I welcome members of the press to this post-WADA/JADCO consultation and operations review media briefing. Thank you all for responding in such a positive way to our invitation.
I am pleased to confirm that the three member WADA team visited Jamaica and engaged in constructive meetings with JADCO over the past two days. They had very fruitful discussions with our team and have committed to working in closer partnership with JADCO to make it not only world class but also best in class.
WADA has assured the Office of the Prime Minister that they will collaborate with JADCO in the strengthening of their programmes and will also provide support to the establishment of JADCO’s new website which is already underway. Greater emphasis will be placed on communications in order to improve the flow of information in a more timely and responsive manner.
The Office of the Prime Minister and JADCO appreciate the invaluable support provided by the WADA team and look forward to further engagement as we chart the pathway to success.
The two-day consultation with JADCO was initiated in response to the invitation of Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller on August 5, 2013.
Last night, I had the opportunity to have a general discussion with the WADA team. I wish to place on record the appreciation of the government to WADA for undertaking this timely review and we await their report.
That we were able to have this visit, at this time, and in spite of the initial difficulties with trying to arrange a mutually convenient date, for the visit,I believe, an indication of the commitment shared by both sides – WADA and JADCO, to work in a spirit of partnership to advance our mutual goal for preserving integrity in sport.
There is no doubt that we have done some things well, but as with all growing organizations there are areas that we are seeking to improve. We have already embarked on a continuous improvement strategy.
As you are already aware a new Executive Director assumed duties a week ago. Already the recruitment process for five of the nine identified vacancies in JADCO’s establishment is near completion. We expect to fill all these positions within two months.
On the matter of budgetary support, we have already increased this year’s JADCO budget by 14% over the previous year and recommendations have been made for additional funding to the Commission, to support its testing programme and the development of a new website.
A new Financial Director has been engaged. Financial Operations are now being transferred from the Office of the Prime Minister to JADCO’s in-house management team.
Our focus going forward is on strengthening and building capacity in collaboration with our partners. Our training and public education programmes stand to benefit from support from the CHASE Fund, IAAF and WADA.
Ladies and gentlemen:
Jamaica has a long and distinguished tradition of success in sport at many levels. Jamaica is committed to integrity in sport, fairplay and the maintenance of a doping-free sporting environment.
We stand resolute in our commitment to improving and strengthening the operations of our national anti-doping agency,JADCO, and we will make it the best in the world commensurate with the level of excellence of our sportsmen and sportswomen.