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Banned Substances: Dr. Alfred Dawes (r), President of the Jamaica Medical Doctors’ Association (JMDA) and Vanessa Reid (2nd right), Director of Communication and Education, JADCO discuss the health consequences of banned substances in sport with Bruce James (l), President of the MVP Track and Field Club and Megan Simmonds, also of MVP. The occasion was the inaugural Senior Athletes Anti-Doping Education Workshop held on Saturday, November 22, 2014, at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston. The workshop targeted senior athletes from all sporting disciplines in JADCO’s Registered Testing Pool (RTP) and their support personnel, as well as senior athletes from tertiary institutions. As a result of the workshop, participants were able to increase their knowledge of the role of JADCO, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Jamaica Anti-Doping Programme. They were also informed of the doping control process, revisions to the World Anti-Doping Code, effective January 1, 2015, banned substances and the importance of proper nutrition.

A cross section of senior athletes from sporting disciplines in the Jamaica Anti-doping Commission’s (JADCO) Registered Testing Pool (RTP) and their support personnel, as well as senior athletes from tertiary institutions, participated in the Senior Athletes Anti-Doping Education Workshop, which was held at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston on Saturday, November 22, 2014.

Speaking at the workshop, Executive Director, Carey Brown explained that the purpose of the workshop was to strengthen the dialogue between JADCO and the senior athletes. “We want the athletes to know that we are here to serve them and we are ready and willing to assist in any way we can in order to ensure they are as knowledgeable as possible about anti-doping and the 2015 Code which will come into effect on January 1.”

Also, speaking at the workshop, track and field athlete, Megan Simmonds expressed her satisfaction with the staging of the workshop. “I found the workshop very informative; it was well organised and interesting. It is always good to have at least a basic understanding of what’s happening in anti-doping, not just what you hear from your coaches and managers; you need to know for yourself.”

Glen Mills, Head Coach of the Racers Track Club, also commended JADCO on its efforts to communicate with the nation’s senior athletes. ”We would like the athletes to get as much knowledge as possible about the testing procedures carried out as well as the rules and guidelines, as this is for their benefit and protection. The practical demonstration of the doping control process was very good and I wish more athletes were here to see it.” He further expressed his dissatisfaction with the turnout at the event, explaining that you can’t be too knowledgeable about the process.

Presentations at the workshop included the role and responsibilities of JADCO, the doping control process, revisions to the World Anti-Doping Code, banned substances and nutrition for athletes. Dr. Alfred Dawes, President of the Jamaica Medical Doctors Association (JMDA), spoke about the negative effects of banned substances and Kirk Bolton, President of the Jamaica Association of Professionals in Nutrition and Dietetics (JAPINAD), provided the athletes with tips on nutrition.