Senate passes anti-doping law
July 26, 2008
ALMOST TWO weeks before the start of the 29th Olympiad in Beijing, China, the Senate has passed anti-doping legislation.
This forms part of Government's efforts to combat the illicit use of drugs in sport.
The Anti-Doping in Sport Act, 2008, received unanimous support from the Senate yesterday, days after the House of Representatives gave the bill the green light.
Attorney General and Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Dorothy Lightbourne, piloted the bill, which will facilitate the setting up of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Com-mission. The agency will be responsible for regulating and controlling doping in sport locally.
According to Senator Lightbourne, the decision by Government to enact legislation to establish the commission, followed its adoption of the World Anti-Doping Programme and the World Anti-Doping Code.
A.J. Nicholson, leader of Opposition business in the Senate, said Jamaica was now at the pinnacle of its achievements in athletics, with the country boasting the two fastest men in the world - Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell.
Could be tested
He highlighted the consequences of breaching the anti-doping rules, pointing out that athletes could be slapped with disqualification or suspension. Athletes could be tested for illegal drugs at least 12 hours before participating in an event, he added.
Nicholson also commented on the importance of the commission, noting that if the integrity of this body was called into question it could deal a devastating blow to the Jamaican sporting fraternity.
However, he said for decades Jamaica has had sport administrators of unquestionable character.
Government Senator Don Wehby lauded the country's athletes for their excellent performances, which have been a source of pride for Jamaica.
He defended the integrity of Jamaica's athletes and castigated "misguided and poorly informed commentators" who have stopped short of saying Caribbean athletes were using performance-enhancing drugs.
According to Wehby, Jamaica ranked fifth among those countries whose athletes have been tested on a regular basis for performance enhancing drugs. The other four are Kenya, the United States, Russia and Greece.
Author: Gleaner Reporter
Source: Jamaica Gleaner