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Government moves in on drug cheats

Tuesday, November 20 2012

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THE STATE plans to introduce a new National Anti-Doping Organisation and to make local athletes formally subject to compulsory drug testing in order to police the use of drugs in local sport.

Newsday understands that a bill, entitled the Anti-Doping in Sport Bill 2012, is to be tabled in Parliament, once it is approved by the Cabinet sub-committee in charge of scrutinising proposed legislation, the Legislation Review Committee.

The bill is one of several bills on the Government’s legislative agenda for the upcoming months.

Sport Minister Anil Roberts made a presentation on the bill to the LRC at a meeting of that body held at Cabildo Chambers on October 31.

It is understood that the bill will provide for the establishment of a National Anti-Doping Organisation which would be in charge of implementing several international regulations on the issue.

The bill will propose that this country formally adopt the World Anti-Doping Code and the UNESCO Convention on Anti-Doping in Sport. The World Anti-Doping Code applies to private sport organisations, but the UNESCO Convention on Anti-Doping in Sport makes that code part of international law.

The new bill would entrench this law into local laws and give the new State organisation, the National Anti-Doping Organisation, specific power to compel tests here. The new legislation would establish a centralised public body in charge of drug testing and of keeping records.

The move comes after a record-setting performance this year at the London Olympics in several sports including athletics, a sport long dogged by doping scandals.

Currently, athletes are subject to drug testing at individual meets on the basis of membership of private sporting bodies and contractual requirements.

At the LRC meeting of October 31, items on the Government’s legislative agenda were also discussed.

Only recently TT sprinter Semoy Hackett was tested positive for a second time for the use of a banned stimulant Methylhexaneamine while competing for the Louisiana State University (LSU) at the NCAA Team Championship.

Newsday understand that the drug was on a list of banned substances during the 2011/2012 athletic season. The result of the test means that other members of the LSU team have had to vacate their championship.

The 100 and 200 metres sprint queen was also tested for using a banned substance at the Sagicor National Track and Field Championship at the Hasely Crawford Stadium and was penalised by the World governing body- IAAF.

Sport Minister Anil Roberts did not return calls or respond to queries last week.



WORLD ANTI-DOPING CODE



ARTICLE 2: ANTI-DOPING AND RULE VIOLATIONS



2.1.1. It is each Athlete’s personal duty to ensure that no Prohibited Substance enters his or her body. Athletes are responsible for any Prohibited Substance or its Metabolites or Markers found to be present in their Samples. Accordingly, it is not necessary that intent, fault, negligence or knowing Use on the Athlete’s part be demonstrated in order to establish



ARTICLE 5: TESTING



5.1. Subject to the jurisdictional limitations for In-Competition Testing in Article 15.1, each National Anti-Doping Organisation shall have Testing jurisdiction over all Athletes who are present in that National Anti-Doping Organisation’s country or who are nationals, residents, license-holders or members of sport organisations of that country.... All Athletes must comply with any request for Testing by any Anti-Doping Organisation with Testing jurisdiction.

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