Friday, April 19, 2024

Random tests coming soon


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Unannounced out-of-competition drug testing will soon commence in Barbados for athletes in all sports as the island continues to observe the code set out by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
Dr Adrian Lorde, former WADA board member and chairman of the Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organization (RADO), made the revelation while speaking to SUNSPORT about the “adverse analytical finding” on top Jamaican sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown.
Lorde said the unannounced testing had already begun in several countries and warned that Doping Control Officers (DCOs) could turn up at athletes’ home, workplace or training area to take urine samples.
Currently, most of the testing is done at major competitions, and in those cases, under age athletes are usually accompanied by a team official. They must also be chaperoned during out-of-competition testing.
“We will not test any minor without the presence of an adult, which could be a coach, trainer or their mother. We cannot,” Lorde remarked.
Lorde said Campbell-Brown’s positive test for a diuretic emphasized the need for the region to put greater focus on education.
“I think this is a wake-up call for all athletes – professionals and non-professionals – in the region,” he said.
“There is a need for all national sports federations in all of the countries to educate their athletes even more about the danger of using drugs and what drugs they should and shouldn’t use.”
Shockwaves raced through the regional track and field community when Jamaican newspapers confirmed it was Campbell-Brown who had tested positive for the diuretic, ending speculation on the social network. Several fans also expressed shock that the tests were not carried out by the local federation, but by the world body, the IAAF.
Lorde said this was not unusual and again warned athletes that testing could be done by the IAAF if they were competing at one of its high-level meets. Campbell-Brown, 31, was reportedly tested by the IAAF on May 4 at the Jamaica Invitational, an IAAF World Challenge event.
Lorde said that after the testing was done, the results would have been sent to the IAAF and not the local athletics federation.
A similar situation obtained at last month’s Ponce Grand Prix in Puerto Rico where he was sent by the IAAF to conduct tests. Working with the DCOs, Lorde would have ensured testing had been done to prescribed regulations and the urine samples sent to the IAAF.
Until the results are back, no prize money is paid and in the event of a record, it would not be ratified.
Lorde said the hosting federation would not be aware of who was tested.
He also worked at the Cayman Invitational and organizers asked for the names of those who had not been tested so they could be paid, but “we don’t disclose who was tested or how many were tested”.
Meanwhile, the highly decorated Campbell-Brown has been “provisionally suspended” after her “B” sample confirmed the presence of Lasix last Thursday at the WADA-accredited lab in Montreal.
Lorde said Lasix was listed as a masking agent under the banned substances. The “water pill”, as it was popularly known, is used to treat heart failure, hypertension, kidney failure and fluid retention.
Lorde said athletes could use it for health reasons, but would have to apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption and then declare they were using it at the time of testing.
Campbell-Brown, the two-time Olympic Games 200 metres champion, has 14 days to make a written submission for a hearing. She will not be able to compete at the National Championships or the World Championships in August.

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