JADCO pleased with Grange’s WADA appointment
JAMAICA Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) Chairman Alexander Williams says Olivia Grange’s appointment as a member of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) board is proof of the nation’s strong reputation globally for its anti-doping practices.
Grange made the announcement of her appointment during a Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association press conference on Wednesday.
Grange, the minister of sport, says it along with the successes enjoyed by the senior national women’s football and netball teams at their respective World Cup tournaments, as well as the senior national women’s volleyball team winning the CAZOVA Caribbean Championship this summer, means that the country is enjoying one of its brightest periods in sport. She says these accomplishments also show the power of Jamaican women.
Williams says Grange’s appointment was made possible because of the work he says the ministry has done to gain Jamaica a presence within WADA.
“It is a signal and welcomed achievement for Jamaica in no small part due to lobbying behind this, particularly by the ministry, to have us represented on the WADA Foundation Board,” Williams told the Jamaica Observer. “It shows the contribution that Jamaica has put towards the anti-doping movement and how well regarded they are — particularly JADCO. So, we’re very pleased with it and Jamaica should be very proud of the fact.”
Williams says through Grange, Jamaica now has direct access to the WADA board.
“If Jamaica has concerns about anti-doping policies and how they are implemented and structured, we have a direct voice, a direct channel to lobby the Executive Committee of WADA, for instance [regarding] how we see things, any concerns that we have,” he said. “It is also a recognition of our leadership role in the Caribbean. We are seen as leaders; we assist other anti-doping organisations across the region — they look to us. WADA recognises this and they are therefore pleased to have us on the board. It’s another feather in our cap.”
Although Grange did not hint at her forthcoming appointment in the weeks and months leading to it, she has spearheaded campaigns to strengthen Jamaica’s relationship with its fellow Caribbean territories pertaining to anti-doping measures and education.
The ministry hosted the World Anti-Doping Forum in Kingston in January, and Grange said one of the targets of the two-day event was to share best practices.
“Where Jamaica is strong, we can share our strength, and where other countries are strong, they can share with us,” Grange told the Observer when she announced the forum earlier this year. “It is really an excellent opportunity for us to build our relationship from strength to strength as a region so that when we go out there to compete with the world the Caribbean can stand predominant.”
WADA President Witold Bańka, who visited Jamaica for the conference, described the country as a “great sporting nation”.
“It plays an important role in the region and we are comfortable with the anti-doping systems in Jamaica,” he told the Observer in January. “I can say that I’m quite comfortable with the anti-doping system in Jamaica, but this is not the case in the whole Caribbean region. We need more testing activities in the countries from the Caribbean as well as more testing and more education. Actually, this is the goal for the whole region, not only Jamaica.”