Despite the ongoing postponement of sporting activities across the world, Caribbean athletes are still being encouraged to follow all drug-testing guidelines as the Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organization or RADO will still be in operations.
“As training continues, so must the Caribbean RADO mandate to ensure a level playing field through doping control,” were the words used in a press release by the anti-doping body” said the body in a press release dated March 19.
The Caribbean RADO is working in conjunction with other anti-doping organisations including the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), while adhering to the advice of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and other health authorities to maintain the integrity of the doping control process and ensuring the safety and health of the athletes and Doping Control Officers during this COVID-19 pandemic.
RADO is now advising athletes to continue to update their whereabouts, especially if there is a change in schedule due to COVID-19.
Any athlete that has tested positive for COVID-19, and may have underlying health challenges is being asked to ensure that they, or a support personnel contact their National Olympic Committee (NOC) or the Caribbean RADO should they be required to take any medication that may be on the prohibited list. All necessary arrangements will be made to ensure the Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) process is maintained.
In terms of testing, maximum precautions will be implemented to maintain the safety of the athlete and doping control officers (DCOs).
All DCOs will use protective gear, where possible, in executing missions. Hand sanitizer and wipes will also be used during the sample collection process and a reasonable distance is expected during the sample collection process.
All DCOs will be screened before being assigned to a mission to ensure, as much as possible, no DCOs with symptoms or underlying risks are conducting missions. Athlete education will continue via the Caribbean RADO social media platforms and for the month of April will run weekly Facebook Live information sessions to keep athletes and athlete support personnel updated.