Mon | Oct 26, 2020

JADCO goes mobile - Anti-doping body unveils $16 million bus for testing

Published:Thursday | October 1, 2020 | 12:11 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange (right), minister of culture, gender, entertainment and sport, activates the ramp on the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission’s (JADCO) new mobile testing bus, while hurdler Megan Tapper (second right) and Alexander Williams (centre),
Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange (right), minister of culture, gender, entertainment and sport, activates the ramp on the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission’s (JADCO) new mobile testing bus, while hurdler Megan Tapper (second right) and Alexander Williams (centre), chairman of JADCO, share in the experience. Looking on are June Spence-Jarrett, (left), executive director of JADCO, and Alando Terrelonge, state minister in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport. The mobile unit was handed over during a ceremony at JADCO’s head office yesterday.

Chairman of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) Alexander Williams could hardly contain his delight after the Minister of Sports, Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange, handed over a new mobile-testing bus to his organisation yesterday.

The total cost of the unit, which was unveiled at JADCO’s head office, is $16 million.

Grange advised that it cost $10 million to purchase the bus while another $6 million was spent to retrofit the vehicle with a bathroom, a ramp, and other features to serve its intended purpose.

“This is something that JADCO has been pursuing for sometime now,” said Williams, who described the unit as a major boost for his association. He noted that this would allow JADCO to travel around the country comfortably and carry out its functions in a more professional matter.

“Typically, when we go out and test athletes, whether it is their homes or training sites, you have to find an area in which you go and take their sample. The chaperone follows the athletes into their bathrooms to take their urine, and all of that,” Williams said.

“What this is now is a purpose-built mobile unit because it has the bathroom and it has a ramp, which will allow for Para athletes to be able to go into the unit to get their sample taken,” Williams shared. “There is a properly refrigerated unit, according to WADA standards, for the storing of the samples, pending coming back to the office.”

WORLD CLASS STANDARDS

Meanwhile, Grange noted that the mobile testing unit is of world-class standards, adding that it would enhance the country’s testing capabilities.

“It is a major boost for us because now, we are able to go throughout the island wherever the athletes are and test them,” said Grange.

“This is also a major move by the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission, and it will certainly assist the athletes in a tremendous way,” she said. “It is a world-class unit, and Jamaica is one of two national anti-doping organisations that has such a unit.”

“I am hoping that one day, we will be able to roll out a second mobile unit that would actually address other areas of the welfare of our athletes,” she shared.