Last night, Dr. Sasha Sutherland, Executive Director of the Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organization (RADO), conducted a webinar for junior athletes and their parents as part of RADO’s commitment to educating athletes about anti-doping before participating in competition. The webinar was hosted by the National Olympic Academy of The Barbados Olympic Association Inc. It had four objectives – to expose junior athletes to the World Anti-Doping Code, the doping control process, anti-doping rule violations, and the Athletes’ Anti-Doping Rights Act.
The webinar focused on the new athletes’ code which is centered around the athlete. Along with the code, participants were briefed on the eight international standards, one of which is athlete education. According to Dr. Sutherland, some athletes enter competition without knowledge of the doping process, but this year RADO is engaging athletes telling them why there are doping controls, why it is essential for them to play true, and to play clean, and how that protects the sport ethic.
Athletes were also exposed to what constitutes a world anti-doping rule violation; for example, it is not just the presence of a banned substance, but athletes could also be sanctioned for refusing a test or for trafficking.
Information was also shared on the doping control process and what to expect if chosen for doping control, including the three ways to be selected for testing – target testing, random testing, or position or finish in a race. The reasons an athlete may delay testing or the three Ms as they are called are medical, media, and medal ceremonies.
The webinar concluded with a discussion on the Athletes’ Anti-Doping Rights Act which speaks to 14 athlete rights, including a right to sports free of corruption, free of doping, and a right to legal aid, among others.
Dr. Adrian Lorde was also on hand to answer medical questions related to therapeutic exemptions and treatments such as muscle rubs and other over-the-counter drugs and the dangers of supplements.