Benjamin resigns as RADO rep after removal threats

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Antigua and Barbuda’s representative to the Caribbean’s Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO), Dr. Philmore Benjamin, has resigned as a member of the body’s board.
His resignation came just hours after newly re-elected President of the Antigua and Barbuda Olympic Association (ABOA), E.P. Chet Greene, said on the Good Morning Jojo Sports show that he would write to RADO, removing Benjamin from the board.
“I wish to indicate that as of now, I will write a letter to the regional anti-doping agency removing Dr. Philmore Benjamin as the island representative and I have to do this in concert with the Ministry of Sports because the position is not an NOC position only, it is an island position as it is the government of Antigua and Barbuda who signed the WADA code and it is through that code that Dr. Benjamin ended up being the person on the RADO, which is the Regional Anti-Doping Organisation,” Greene said.
“My letter [to RADO] was simply to apologise for Dr. Benjamin’s failure to perform, asking the RADO not to sanction Antigua and Barbuda because they were very plain in the letter that we run the risk of being sanctioned in terms of our athletes and officials. So, as of today [October 23] I say thanks to Dr. Benjamin for his service. We will indicate to the RADO that elections are finished, that we have removed Dr. Benjamin from that position,” he added. 
In a RADO letter dated October 12, both the ABOA and the ministry of sports were warned of possible sanctions against athletes and coaches if the country does not move to immediately regularise its doping control mechanisms and improve its programme implementation.
Benjamin labelled the release of the RADO letter a “political gimmick” accusing Greene of attempting to derail his bid to become president of the Olympic association here.
Asked if the doctor will be consulted before a final decision is taken, Greene said they will proceed with the plans to replace him within the seven-day period following the ABOA’s election as indicated to RADO.
“The general secretary [Cliff Williams] would have sent the letter to him and I would think it would have been in his place to respond to the letter but rather than respond to the letter, Dr. Benjamin has sought to do all sort of subterfuge. He has not addressed the letter neither directly or otherwise except to say there is a conspiracy between myself, the secretary general and the RADO and there is conspiracy between the minister of sports [Daryll Matthew] and the RADO so rather than take responsibility for what is clearly, failed performance, he’s prepared to blame everybody,” he said.
Greene did not name a replacement for Benjamin, stating only that both the Olympic Association and the ministry of sports have been in talks with a number of potential candidates.
The RADO letter highlighted that “Even with one of the best doping control officers [Dr. Benjamin] in the region, Doping Control in Antigua and Barbuda does not exist outside of Cricket West Indies missions” and that “There has been little anti-doping activity implemented for the sport community in Antigua and Barbuda.”
RADO went on to list communication, sustainability and education and advocacy as areas where Antigua and Barbuda failed to live up to the required standards.
The letter, signed by Dr. Adrian Lorde (OBE), who is chairman of RADO, hinted that failure to bring the country to “full compliance” could have a negative impact on athletes and coaches who represent Antigua and Barbuda at the highest
level.

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