Several representatives from the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) met with athlete support personnel to discuss critical aspects of the anti-doping rules at the 2017 JADCO Symposium. The event which is held annually, was hosted at the Jamaica Conference Centre (JCC) on Thursday, January 26, 2017, under the theme “Understanding the JADCO Rules and the World Anti-Doping Code”.
Participants included members of sporting associations and federations, professional groups, secondary school teachers and sport administrators. The objective of the discussion was to help athlete support personnel understand key aspects of the JADCO Rules and the World Anti-Doping Code, especially as it relates to their obligations. Practical ways in which they can assist the Commission with its mandate were also emphasised.
Speaking during the symposium, Carey Brown, Executive Director at JADCO, stressed the importance of athlete support personnel being knowledgeable and working together with the Commission to advance the country’s anti-doping efforts. He said, “When we send you invitations to our workshops, please don’t ignore them. Try to assist us to facilitate these workshops. Also, when you are familiar with the JADCO Rules and the World Anti-Doping Code, you can assist the athletes if they need guidance. You can also influence them to get familiar with these rules.” Mr. Brown also reinforced the point that whether or not athletes and support personnel know or understand the rules, they will still face consequences if they break them.
Guest speaker at the symposium, Maurice Wilson, Technical Director of the Sprintec Track Club, outlined ways in which the club and its members benefitted from JADCO’s assistance throughout the past year. Sprintec was one of several sporting clubs with which anti-doping education workshops were held leading up to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. He said, “Many people think of JADCO as the big bad body that wants everyone to test positive, but during the workshop, we realised that the organisation is there to help. They provided us with clarity on several anti-doping issues.”
Mr. Wilson also endorsed the Commission’s policy regarding supplement use. He said, “In light of what is happening in the international arena, we have to assess the use of supplements. Will we rely on training or proper nutrition, or will we take the chance and use supplements? I am going to support JADCO’s stance on supplements, even though several months ago, I would not have been supportive.”
Jean Jordon, Player Resource Officer from the West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA), benefitted extensively from participating in the event. He said, “The information will be of tremendous benefit to members of the association. Issues that were not very clear were made clearer and I learnt new information. We are now in a better position to assist our athletes and other members of the association and we will be able to make better decisions as it relates to anti-doping.”
The symposium included presentations on the functions and responsibilities of JADCO and the doping control process. JADCO’s Executive Director delivered the main presentation focused on “Understanding the JADCO Rules and the World Anti-Doping Code”. He also led the afternoon session which consisted of a roundtable discussion highlighting ways in which athlete support personnel can play their part in sharing information on the JADCO Rules and the World Anti-Doping Code.