Fri | Dec 2, 2016

WADA pushing to keep ahead of dopers

Published:Friday | March 25, 2011 | 12:00 AM

André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter

Despite a heightened global educational push and an increase in the level of awareness concerning the use of prohibited substances in sport, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) - the global doping watchdogs - remains swamped with doping infringements and, as a result, will be doubling its efforts against the major players in the circle of dishonesty, such as the ever-increasing high-tech labs and their support structure.

Kerwin Clarke, manager of results management and legal affairs at WADA, while speaking at the first of four Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) cross-island workshops at the Jamaica Conference Centre on Wednesday, mentioned some of the challenges facing the global body but took solace in the increased awareness among stakeholders.

"... It's good to see, though, that there is more awareness out there but I would say that I see the same amount of work at WADA," said Clarke, while talking to The Gleaner during a break at the seminar, which pulled out a number of local sporting interests, such as students, club principals and heads of sporting associations.

"I feel that maybe more of the advanced doping is what needs to be dealt with, because a lot of the problems are with the more intelligent dopers, so to speak; we have to keep striving to get ahead of the game scientifically, I find that that is the key at this stage," he added.

Clarke, a former American football player at the McGill University, underlined the scientific development of the various doping labs across the globe, as well as the accessibility of prohibited substances, as some of the major obstacles facing the global fight against doping in sport.

"The labs that are coming out, the scientific endeavours by these criminals plus the accessibility to these (prohibited) substances is quite startling," said Clarke. "As it relates to whether or not we are winning in this fight, I am not in a position to say, but we are definitely making strides."

Dangers of drugs

Meanwhile, Patrece Charles-Freeman, JADCO's executive director, highlighted the body's emphasis on educating the various local stakeholders on their own responsibilities, as well as the dangers associated with taking performance-enhancement drugs.

"What we realised during our educational efforts throughout our three-year existence was that a lot of our stakeholders really didn't grasp specific topics that we wanted them to, so we came up with the cross-island workshop," Charles-Freeman noted. "We also came up with the cross-island workshop because we not only wanted to cater to our stakeholders in the Corporate Area but we wanted to also go to the rural areas as well."