JADCO boss steps down
Leighton Levy, Gleaner Writer
Dr Patrece Charles Freeman, who has been the executive director of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) since its inception in 2008, is resigning from the post effective tomorrow.
She is leaving to pursue a career in politics and to dedicate more time to her private practice as a public health consultant and psychologist. She submitted her letter of resignation yesterday.
Peta-Gaye Waugh will act as executive director until a permanent replacement is named.
"I am resigning because I have chosen to represent the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) in the next general election, and according to staff orders for the civil service, you cannot serve on a political platform and sit as a CEO or an executive director of a government agency," she said. "I do have my practice and I do intend to spend more time on that also."
Charles Freeman, the daughter of veteran politician and Member of Parliament for North Central Clarendon, Pearnel Charles, was recently named caretaker for Eastern St Thomas. She believes she can bring about change to representational politics in Jamaica, starting with the constituency that she hopes to represent next election, constitutionally due by the end of 2012.
She had been with the JADCo from its formative stages. On July 25, 2008, the Jamaican government approved the Anti-Doping in Sport Act 2008, which became law and guides all local athletes in relation to doping in sports. JADCO was formed in 2005 to execute the national anti-doping programme in accordance with the international governing body - the World Anti-Doping Association. On February 10, 2004, Jamaica became the 97th signatory state to the UNESCO Copenhagen Declaration on anti-doping in sport and operates under the universal World Anti-Doping Code.
Overseen growth, development
In 2008, before she was appointed executive director, Charles Freeman, who holds a PhD in Environment Health Management, headed the Jamaica Anti-Doping Unit that ran the daily activities of JADCO. Since that time, she has overseen the growth and development of the commission.
"I was there to see the passing of the Anti-Doping in Sport Act and the rules and regulations. Unfortunately, we have not reviewed the policy but that should be taking place now," she said. "I watched the commission grow from a staff of two to a staff of 12, and we have just been given four more positions because we still have so much more work to do. It is unfortunate that I am not going to be there to realise my ultimate goal of being the leading anti-doping organisation in the region, whereby the other organisations in the region would look to the JADCO for advice and for personnel."
She said she believes JADCO has a good staff and board that will take them to that level.
Under the watch of Charles Freeman, several Jamaican athletes have returned adverse findings from tests conducted here in Jamaica. Most notable among those were Julien Dunkley, who failed a drug test at the national championships in 2008; and Steve Mullings, who now faces a life ban after testing positive for a diuretic during the national championships held in June this year.