Antidoping Act Huge step forward for T&T sport

By: Brian Lweis, May 15, 2016: “The Act to provide for the implementation of the UNESCO International Convention against doping in sport and the establishment of the T&T Anti-Doping Organisation (TTADO) is absolutely necessary if this country is serious about developing a sustainable and vibrant sport industry,” said Brian Lewis, the secretary general T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) after the unanimous passing of the Bill in the Lower House on Friday.

He sees this as a huge step forward for T&T sport and its international reputation in the world of sport but he feels the journey is still a long way to be completed.

“Without an anti-doping measure in sport infrastructure and culture the world of sport will question our credibility and seriousness about being a world class sport nation and destination.”

The T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) under the WADA code and IOC charter is the current national anti doping body. The TTOC has played an integral part in the lobby and efforts to get the Anti-Doping in Sport Act drafted and implemented both with the current and previous government.

“But that is a role the TTOC is eagerly looking forward to handing over to the TTADO once the bill is passed by both Houses of Parliament and is proclaimed by the President,” said Lewis.

“The current Minister of Sport and Government must be commended for bringing the Bill to Parliament. And the Opposition PNM Members of Parliament for their support of the bill.”

The bill needs to be passed with a three-fifths majority in both Houses of Parliament as it is inconsistent with sections 4 and 5 of the Constitution. A number of people have worked tirelessly to get the required legislation to this point.

The legal officers at the Ministry of Sport, the working Committee that included Attorneys of Law Tyrone Marcus, Ricardo Williams, Dr Terry Ali, Anti-Doping expert Andre Collins and the TTOC .

“It has been a long process that has tested the collective and individual resolve of all the stakeholders,” said Lewis.

The bill will next be debated by the Upper House (Senate). Bermuda, Bahamas and Jamaica are the English-speaking Caribbean nations that have already enacted Anti-Doping in Sport legislation.

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