The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) took another step to engage in dialogue with stakeholders by inviting the President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Witold Bańka to address athlete support personnel at the eighth annual JADCO Symposium. The event was held on the Zoom platform on Thursday, January 27, 2022 under the theme, “Reporting Doping: See Something, Say Something”.
Speaking at the event, President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Witold Bańka, who was the keynote speaker said, “An important element of anti-doping education is ensuring athletes and others are aware that if they witness wrongdoing whether it is by athletes, coaches, doctors, administrators or anyone else involved in the anti-doping system, they can speak up as whistleblowers. The vast majority of successful investigations begin with tips from people sharing information with the authorities.” He further added, “Everyday we are inspired by the bravery and sacrifice of whistleblowers. As a result, we are determined to make constant improvements to the overall system. So, if you witness wrongdoing in anti-doping at any level please come forward with this information. If you know someone who has evidence that would help us in the protection of sport, encourage and support that person to approach us. In short, if you see something, say something. You can rest easy in the knowledge that our team will treat all approaches with respect, with integrity and with the utmost confidence. Together we can level the playing field and protect the dreams of athletes who want to wear the black, green and gold and represent Jamaica on the world stage with the same pride that so many great names have done before.”
Speaking at the event, Minister of Culture, Gender Entertainment and Sport, The Honourable Olivia Grange said, “We must see it as our duty to report doping whenever we have credible information. Jamaica is a proud sporting nation with much to celebrate. Many often wonder about our excellence and achievements which belie our size. It is therefore up to every athlete, every sport administrator and support personnel to ensure that the pride that we feel and the achievements we boast are not tainted by those who would deliberately choose not to play fair. Through this symposium and various workshops held throughout the year, the Commission continues to do its best to ensure that the sporting community in Jamaica is provided with relevant and up to date information regarding the rights and responsibilities of athletes.” She further added, “Information from JADCO is also available on the new website which is more user friendly and has the feature where one can discreetly report known incidences of doping or other possible Anti-Doping Rule Violations.”
Also speaking at the symposium, Chairman of JADCO, Alexander Williams said, “Whether it is a personal decision or athletes are influenced to cheat to win, we want to make it clear that JADCO does not support doping to win. We stand in support of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s stance to report doping. If you see something say something. Use your influence to put an end to doping in sport in Jamaica.” He further added, “Athlete support personnel, if you find out that someone you know is using prohibited substances, do not hesitate to contact us here at JADCO to report the matter. Your report will be anonymous and can be done via the JADCO website or our toll-free telephone number 888-429-5232.”
Over 260 participants attended the symposium, including members of sporting associations and federations, professional groups, school principals, coaches and sport administrators and athletes. Participants who attended the virtual event received values-based education and were also provided with information on the functions and responsibilities of JADCO and the social consequences of doping. The JADCO Symposium has been held annually since January 2015 to facilitate continuous dialogue with athlete support personnel. The event was held virtually for the second consecutive year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The next JADCO Symposium will be held during January 2023.
JADCO was formally established in 2008 to execute the national anti-doping programme in accordance with the standards stipulated by the international governing body, the World Anti-Doping Agency. JADCO’s mission is to foster a dope free environment in Jamaica that promotes the ethics and spirit of sport through education, testing, advocacy and coordination of an effective anti-doping programme in Jamaica.