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BADC travels to Grand Bahama

The Bahamas Anti-Doping Commission (BADC), has termed successful, its mission over the Thanksgiving Day weekend to Freeport, Grand Bahama, to conduct an introductory seminar with leading sports figures on the island.

A team inclusive of BADC Deputy Chairman Fred Sturrup, General Secretary Roscow Davies and Chief Doping Control Officer Nurse Beatrice Arthur traveled to Freeport on Thursday, November 24. Presentations were made to the Grand Bahamian media and sports leaders over a three-day period. Grand Bahama-based anti-doping commissioner David Morley, who is also the country’s regional representative, and Monique Leary of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, were of great assistance to the visiting trio, particularly with the three-hour seminar held at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture’s meeting room on Saturday morning.

Sturrup, extending regrets on behalf of BADC Chairman Dr. Jerome Lightboune, who had to keep a previous engagement, spoke during his presentations about the establishment of the commission, its functions and the strategic objectives. Davies focused on the prohibited substances (and methods to that end), the BADC website, as well as the educational initiatives and the proposed “Clean Sports” program planned for the nation’s schools.

Arthur enlightened listeners on the functions of officers, and the rights and responsibilities of athletes.

Sturrup informed that because the commission recognizes the significance of the role Grand Bahama plays in the national development of sports, it was decided that a connection with the sports leaders in the nation’s second city would be the final major item on the agenda for 2011. In tracing the history of The Bahamas’ official commitment to the anti-doping battle, Sturrup told Grand Bahamian sports leaders that the government signed on to accept the International Code and work with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in July of 2003.

In 2009, driven by the then Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Desmond Bannister, the Anti-Doping In Sports Act was put in place via an enactment of Parliament in August of 2009. The commission has under its jurisdiction several bodies which, however, perform their duties independently, such as the Disciplinary Panel, the Therapeutic Use Exemption Committee and the Appeals Committee. In a nutshell, the commission has implemented all of the necessary measures to discourage the use of drugs and doping methods in sports.

Davies went into great details explaining the Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE). He emphasized the entitlement of athletes with existing health conditions to apply to the TUE Committee for requested exemptions. The application is quite necessary and can save a lot of problems, he pointed out.

Nurse Arthur’s sample-taking demonstration at the seminar closed out the three-day visit on an extremely high note. Using Coach Quentin Hall as a model, Nurse Arthur went through the entire process of urine sample-taking (using water in this case). She explained and demonstrated how athletes are able to ensure that the process is pure and their samples would not be contaminated or mixed up.

A lively questions and answers period took place following the presentations on Saturday morning. Heading the list of sports and youth mentors at the seminar, were icons Errol Bodie and Cecil Thompson. The BADC will follow-up the Thanksgiving weekend visit with a series of educational programs and further interaction with other sports leaders in Grand Bahama.

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