JADCO launches website, trains 4 new DCOs
The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) has spent nearly $3million in a concerted effort to reach international standards by establishing a new website, plus the training of four new Doping Control Officers (DCOs).
The long-awaited website, which came under scrutiny during the much-publicised doping case involving Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson, was designed by Interactive Toucan Jamaica Limited at a cost of US$6,500 (J$734,500).
The athletes' attorneys argued that JADCO had no website to assist and inform their clients during the anti-doping hearing earlier this year.
JADCO chairman R Danny Williams, who was appointed in January, said his organisation is actually friends of the athletes, contrary to popular belief.
"We exist only to make their lives easier. We exist to verify that their performance is credible and to provide them with all the information that they need to make informed decisions regarding anti-doping. We are here for them and we were created to serve them," said Williams at a press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister yesterday.
"The team at JADCO has a tremendous responsibility to exhaust every means necessary to reinforce to our athletes that they don't need dope to cope. We have to remind them about the importance of fair competition and educate them, as well as their support personnel, on ways they can showcase their talent without unfair advantage," he added.
The website www.jadco.gov.jm is said to be user-friendly and includes vital information to educate and inform stakeholders, who require up-to-date information about anti-doping.
The site is designed largely in the colours of green and gold and offers information about doping control processes, banned substances and news on developments at JADCO.
It also provides users with easy access to the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA's) e-Learning Component and decisions made by the Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel (JADDP) and the Jamaica Anti-Doping Appeals Tribunal (JADAT).
Meanwhile, JADCO has completed the training of four DCOs, to bring the total to eight, as the agency continues its drive to strengthen its operations. The cost of that operation was funded by UNESCO to the tune of US$19,000 (J$2.15m).
Only this year, Veronica Campbell Brown was exonerated after receiving a two-year ban by JADDP when it was discovered that the commission blundered in how it managed her urine sample collection.
The athlete testified that she provided two urine samples while JADCO sent three samples to be tested at the WADA-accredited lab in Canada.
Hence, the training of the new DCOs was facilitated through a partnership involving JADCO and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports (CCES).
JADCO's executive director Carey Brown said the journey so far has not been without challenges, but his team is nevertheless working hard.
"JADCO is a young anti-doping organisation and since its inception, the Government has always held the position that we should partner with a well-established anti-doping organisation in order to build institutional capacity," noted Brown.
"The team at JADCO is committed to delivering service of the highest standard to our sportsmen and women and we have reformed our testing procedures in keeping with international standards and best practices," said Brown.
The training programme was completed on July 18 with a written evaluation session, following intense theoretical, practical and in-field training that included participation in both in- and out-of-competition testing missions.
The training focussed on the roles and responsibilities of the DCOs, athletes' notification, best practices for urine and blood samples collection and partial-sample collection.
The new DCOs are fully certified to carry out doping control missions on JADCO's behalf for a period of two years, after which they will need to be re-evaluated and recertified.