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INTENT ON maintaining an unblemished record through the fundamental principles of Olympism, the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) will, for the first time ever, serve as this nation’s official National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO) for the forthcoming Caribbean Zone Men’s Olympic Beach Volleyball qualifiers, scheduled to serve off at Saith Park, Chaguanas, from May 8-10.

This historic revelation was made by TTOC president Brian Lewis yesterday. Lewis, who plays an instrumental role in ensuring that these tests are done to International Olympic Committee (IOC) standards, stated that all athletes competing in official Olympic qualifiers must be tested by a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and IOC-sanctioned organisation.

TT however does not have an official NADO, but according to the WADA code, it is mandatory that the National Olympic Committee/TTOC, acts as the NADO. Accordingly, the TTOC has the authority to direct that there be testing and to facilitate the process.

“The TTOC is of the resolute view that in competition, testing is compulsory. Given Trinidad and Tobago’s status and international standing as WADA compliant and a jurisdiction that is serious about anti doping and drug free sport, anti-doping tests will be conducted for the first time here in Trinidad and Tobago,” said Lewis.

These tests will be conducted by official and experienced doping control officers, Andre Collins and Michelle Stoute-Lopez, and other chaperones in charge of procuring. Samples gathered will then be sent to a WADA accredited lab for complete analysis.

The doping kits will be obtained from the Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO) and tests will be undertaken according to the WADA code. Additionally, in-competition anti-doping tests will be confirmed at the tournament’s technical meeting which will be held today between 6-8 pm at the Cascadia Hotel, St Ann’s.

“This is the first time that there is going to be in-competition testing by the Trinidad and Tobago Volleyball Federation, with the involvement of the TTOC, acting as the NADO. I made it clear to all concerned that we cannot have a Rio 2016 Olympic qualifier in Trinidad and Tobago in any sport, and there be no in-competition testing. If we are serious about maintaining TT’s status and international standing and being WADA compliant, and being a jurisdiction that is serious about it, tests must be conducted. This is a responsibility that the TTOC cannot and will not shirk,” added Lewis.

This country’s Anti-Doping in Sport Act was passed in 2013 under the then Minister of Sport Anil Roberts. The Rio 2016 Caribbean Zone Men’s Beach Volleyball Qualifier will be hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Volleyball Federation (TTVF).

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The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) says it will "work closely" with national anti-doping organisations (NADOs) and other stakeholders in coming months to help them to implement changes brought about by the new World Anti-Doping Code efficiently and effectively.

The Montreal-based agency was responding to a request for a reaction to insidethegames' exclusive disclosure that the Dutch NADO - the Doping Autoriteit - is facing the prospect of a cut in the number of tests it can afford to conduct after the new code comes into effect on January 1.

This is because of stipulations in the new code that require additional analyses and will hence almost certainly increase the cost of some tests.

Herman Ram, director of the National Lottery-funded Autoriteit, told insidethegames that if his testing budget did not increase, "I have to make choices".

Ram went on: "The most simple solution is decreasing the number of tests, but that is not the most sensible approach."

In its response, WADA said that the new code required NADOs to "adopt a 'smarter' approach to testing, through their test distribution plans and through the analysis of samples."

The agency continued: "By implementing the technical document for sport specific analysis, and by conducting the required risk assessments [NADOs] may indeed find themselves doing fewer tests than previously due to the fact that they are testing the right athletes at the right time, rather than taking a 'one size fits all' approach to testing.

"There is an expectation that from next year testing programmes will be more resourceful and will improve."

WADA went on: "This more effective approach to testing, coupled with use of the Athlete Biological Passport (ABP), will help foster programmes that focus not so much on the number of tests but on the quality of testing.

"WADA will work closely with stakeholders in the coming months to help them implement the changes effectively, so that they have efficient testing programs that act as a deterrent to those athletes considering cheating.

"This will be central to WADA's efforts to continue to protect the clean athletes who want to compete honestly and fairly."

One possible element that Ram suggests may ease pressure on those NADOs whose costs have been rising faster than their budgets is that increases in the volume of erythropoietin (EPO) and human growth hormone (hGH) tests as a consequence of the new rules might trigger a reduction in the unit cost of those tests.

On this point, WADA commented: "Under the revised code, [NADOs] have the ability to select their preferred laboratory for the analysis of samples.

"Organisations have the ability to communicate with the laboratories and negotiate any lower unit costs that may result from economies of scale.

"WADA will continue to play its part in facilitating greater transparency in laboratory costs."

The worry, of course, is that if a significant number of NADOs are driven to cut back on the number of samples collected and analysed for economic, as opposed to tactical, reasons, drug cheats may find it easier to escape undetected.

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Notwithstanding the decision of the Ministry of Sport to not fund in competition anti doping tests at the Rio 2016 Caribbean Zone Men's Beach Volleyball qualifier scheduled for 8-10 May at Saith Park, Chaguanas.

Anti doping tests will be conducted.

Where there is no National Anti doping Organisation (NADO) the WADA code is unambiguous that the National Olympic Committee (NOC) acts as the NADO.

Accordingly the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) has the authority to direct that there be testing and to facilitate the process.

The TTOC's is of the resolute view that in competition testing is compulsory given Trinidad and Tobago's status and international standing as WADA compliant and a jurisdiction that is serious about anti doping and drug free sport.

The Rio 2016 Caribbean Zone Men's Beach Volleyball Qualifier will be  hosted by the Trinidad and Tobago Volleyball Federation (TTVF).

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The Commonwealth Games Federation court has determined that Botswanan athlete, Amantle Montsho, has committed an anti-doping rule violation and has disqualified her from the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

The results of all her performances at the Games will now be nullified.

On 29th July a test during the Commonwealth Games produced an adverse analytical finding indicating the presence of Methylhexaneamine Dimethlypentaylamine - a substance prohibited under the current WADA Prohibited List - Class S6 Stimulants.

Ms Montsho requested that her B sample be analysed, which subsequently confirmed the initial A sample analysis.

The athlete was advised of her rights under the CGF's Anti-Doping Standard for the Games, and she subsequently informed the Federation by letter, dated 20th August, that she accepts the finding of the test results and waived her right to a hearing before the Federation court.

As a result, the Federation court's decision, together with all relevant documentation, will be forwarded to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for further action in accordance with WADA's World Anti-Doping Code.

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The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is urging major event organisers to do more out-of-competition testing, following the success of a new-style independent observer (IO) programme at this year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

David Howman, WADA's director general, said that an "enhanced focus" on pre-competition testing was a key element in the "better practice" model utilised for Glasgow 2014.

He went on: "This emphasis on testing during higher-risk doping periods was successfully implemented and as a result WADA encourages all major event organisations to expand their own out-of-competition testing programmes in collaboration with International Federations (IFs) and National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs) prior to the event; and further throughout the period the Athletes' Village opens until the end of the event."

Howman also said WADA was pleased with the "success of the collaborative approach" taken by the different anti-doping organisations during Glasgow 2014.

He added: "We were impressed by the constructive relationship that developed between the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), the Glasgow Organising Committee and UK Anti-Doping (UKAD)", the body contracted to carry out testing at the event.

"This type of partnership," he said "should be a template for future major events".

David Grevemberg, CGF chief executive, who held the same role at Glasgow 2014, said that the body was "delighted to have contributed by promoting the values of fair play and advancing the delivery of doping control regimes at major sporting events".

WADA said, however, that it would publish no report on the programme, "due to the nature of the IO mission conducted in Glasgow".

The agency's "better practice" model was piloted in 2013 at the World Games in Cali, Colombia; Glasgow 2014 marked the biggest multi-sport event yet at which it has been conducted.

Chika Amalaha, a Nigerian weightlifter, and Amantle Montsho, the former world 400 metres champion from Botswana, were both disqualified after the CGF determined they had committed anti-doping rule violations.

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The "Osaka Rule", which bans athletes convicted of serious doping offences from competing in the next Olympic Games, is set to be resurrected under new plans drawn up by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

The controversial penalty - also known as "Rule 45" - had been introduced by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2007 but was challenged last year by the United States Olympic Committee on behalf of Beijing 2008 400 metres champion LaShawn Merritt, who had been banned in October 2010 for 21 months after testing positive for a banned a substance contained in an over-the-counter penis enlargement product.

They successfully argued at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) that it was unfair because it was a second punishment for the same offence.

That, in turn, led to WADA challenging the British Olympic Association's (BOA) bylaw which bans any athlete convicted of a serious doping offence representing Team GB at the Olympics, leaving the way clear for convicted drugs cheats like sprinter Dwain Chambers and David Millar to compete at London 2012.

But the CAS indicated that Rule 45 could be reintroduced if it was included as part of the WADA code.

A new clause in the draft code, 10.15, titled "Limitation on Participation in the Olympic Games'' says in serious doping cases "as an additional sanction, the athlete or other person shall be ineligible to participate in the next Summer Olympic Games and the next Winter Olympic Games taking place after the end of the period of ineligibility otherwise imposed."

WADA's notes, however, warn that they do not want organisations like the BOA trying to introduce further sanctions against their athletes.

"The Code's objective of harmonisation would be seriously undermined if multiple Anti-Doping Organisations were each allowed to impose their own anti-doping participation rules," they say.

"The balance has been struck to provide for a special sanction limiting participation in the Olympic Games. This article is consistent with the CAS decisions in USOC v. IOC (the Merritt case) and British Olympic Association (BOA) v. World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).''

The new code is due to be approved in autumn 2013 at a meeting in Johannesburg and implemented in 2015.

-Duncan Mackay

Source: www.insidethegames.biz

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