By Neto Baptiste
Antigua and Barbuda’s representative to the Caribbean’s Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO), Dr Dwayne Thwaites, has warned that the body could soon resume random testing of athletes across the region.
Thwaites, who was named Antigua’s representative to the body in 2018, said they were forced to suspend testing due to the coronavirus pandemic last year.
“We’re going to be doing some educational programmes, some promos and, in between those, we will do random testing. So, people must be aware that these things will be going on once things have improved and we start to go back into competitive sports. Just before the Covid we had started doing some testing, around January or February , but we haven’t gone back into that again. Things are not happening the way we wish it was but once we cool down and we go back into regular activities we are going to start doing some random testing,” he said.
Thwaites, who replaced the country’s former representative Dr Philmore Benjamin following his resignation some three years ago, said a certain amount of testing has to be done at a national level in order to remain compliant with international standards.
“Most of the athletes have hopefully been social distancing and exercising by themselves because we are going to be getting back into some programmes. Kristy Dickenson is working on some programmes so that we can go ahead and again, one of the things I would let them [athletes] know is that we are going to be doing random testing of athletes here and there because that’s what’s required so that we could keep up to date on that and nobody is using anything to enhance their athletic ability,” he said.
All competitions were suspended in March last year after the country recorded its first case of the deadly Covid-19 virus.
Cricket and cycling were both granted permission late last year for a competitive return. Cabinet however, recently reinstituted a suspension on competitive cricket.