Sports Ministers told more support needed for national anti-doping programs

Sports Ministers from the Pacific and their representatives were encouraged to work closely with their National Olympic Committee (NOC) to support the Oceania Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (ORADO) in the development of national programs.

The 2019 Pacific Islands Sports Ministers Meeting, chaired by Samoa’s Minister of Education, Sport and Culture, Hon. Loau Solamalemalo Keneti Sio was the prelude to the 2019 XVI Pacific Games currently underway in Apia, Samoa.

ORADO Chairman Cyrille Mainguy informed the Ministers that World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is the international, independent, organization that promotes, coordinates and monitors the global anti-doping system.

He said WADA was formed in 1999 following two serious crises that engulfed sport in 1998, the Festina scandal and the Salt Lake City bid scandal.

“It has brought fairness, consistency, credibility and structure to anti-doping in sport since then,” Mainguy added.

He said ORADO, which is WADA’s representative in the region, has 16 member countries.

“These countries are represented on the ORADO board through a delegate jointly appointed by the NOC and national government.

“Currently, NOCs are taking the lead and responsibility for anti-doping in most countries,” Mainguy said.

He said it was imperative for NOCs and government stakeholders to work closely to ensure that anti-doping is included in national sports polices.

“ORADOs’ member countries also receive substantial technical and funding support from New Zealand, Australia as well as the Oceania National Olympic Committees (ONOC),” Mainguy added.

Mainguy also shared the importance of having pacific island representation at anti-doping forums and global meetings that promote the protection of the integrity of athletes in sports.

He informed the island Ministers of the up-coming Fifth World Conference on Doping in Sport that will take place from 5-7 November 2019 in Katowice, Poland and UNESCO’s seventh session of the Conference of Parties (COP7) to the International Convention against Doping in Sport, which will take place at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, from 29 to 31 October 2019.

ORADO Executive Officer Natanya Potoi-Ulia, Kazuhiro Hayashi (WADA Asia/ Oceania Regional Office, Director) and Ying Cui (WADa NADo/RADO relations, Program Manager) were also in attendance.

Preceding the Sports Ministers’ Meeting was a Pacific Sports Policy Roundtable held a day earlier where representatives of national, regional and international sporting bodies discussed key issues that would be presented to the Ministers for consideration.  The Roundtable discussions were summarized and presented by the Director of the UNESCO office based in Apia, Ms Nisha.