The Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organization (RADO) and the Caribbean Association of National Olympic Committees (CANOC) just signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding aimed at enhancing the fight against doping in sport in the region.
The agreement – the first of its kind between the two regional bodies – was officially signed during the CANOC General Assembly on November 5th 2022 in Trinidad and Tobago. The MOU will ensure support for doping control and testing, anti-doping (clean sport) education and research in the Caribbean, while facilitating the sharing of information, resources, and technical expertise, including areas related to enacting legislation and developing policy frameworks.
Patrick Werleman, Chairman of the Caribbean RADO believes this partnership will benefit athletes in the region.
“After a long period of preparation and negotiations, we finally did it and I’m extremely happy! This brings us yet another step closer to making sure all of our athletes in the region receive key education in anti-doping, which helps to create a level playing field for our athletes,” said Werleman.
“We see this as one of the moments in a much longer journey on our mission to lead, promote and coordinate clean sport in the Caribbean region – to realize our vision of a unified region, committed to clean sport. It is now that we need to cultivate a stronger community of practice to ensure that our governments are engaged, that our work is athlete-centered, and our policies facilitate levelling the playing field for the athlete’s right to participate in clean sport.”
Werleman and Brian Lewis, the then CANOC President, signed the MOU during the gathering of CANOC member-country representatives. Lewis who now holds the position of CANOC General Secretary following recent elections, hailed the new agreement as an “amazing initiative” focused on fostering regional collaboration on anti-doping. He also outlined the importance of the partnership.
“The signing of the memorandum of understanding between CANOC and the Caribbean RADO is historic. It is significant as it sends a very powerful and strong signal, not just to the region, but to the entire Olympic and Commonwealth sports movement, that we in the Caribbean are committed to clean sport. We have a lot of young people who do very well in sport, especially track and field, cycling and swimming; and for us in the Caribbean, it is about levelling the playing field,” said Lewis.
On the opening day of the two-day meeting which featured the CANOC Annual Workshop, Caribbean RADO Executive Director Dr. Sasha Sutherland led regional representatives in a ‘Clean Sport’ Education session which focused on the role National Olympic Committees can play in strengthening the Anti-Doping movement in the Caribbean.