Dr Sultan bin Yaarub al Busaidy will continue as the Regional Anti Doping Organisation (Rado) President for GCC countries and Yemen and Dr Saleh al Qanbar will remain the vice-president after the Rado elections were postponed at the meeting of the board of directors. “The current dispensation will continue and the elections have been postponed to the next meeting in 2019. The prevailing situation in Kuwait, where the Rado is headquartered, is a factor due to which the board has decided to continue with the same dispensation,’’ Dr Sultan added.
Kuwait has been suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) since October 2015 owing to government interference in sports administration. They were initially suspended in 2010 before being reinstated during the 2012 London Olympics. The Rado meeting comprised representatives of the GCC countries’ and Yemen’s anti-doping committees as well as members of the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) and Asian Anti-Doping Organizations. Wada Deputy Director General Rob Koehler expressed his views on the meeting and the anti-doping perspective of the Wada .
“This meeting is all about getting the Gulf states and Yemen together on board. We will be talking about strategies on how we can further support the athletes and to make sure they are educated and they are going through testing programs.” “The countries and the anti-doping committees have to show leadership and if we don’t do that now, then the athletes are going to be left aside,’’ he added. Koehler also threw some light on the kind of measures the Wada would adopt to combat the menace. “We are going to give an update on what happened in Russia, what’s happened with decision of the IOC, and what Wada is doing. Importantly, what the GCC countries are doing in terms of their anti-doping measures and what they can do further will be discussed,’’ he said.
Koehler also had some words of appreciation for the work Oman is doing and that is relevant in the context of the Omani athlete who was banned a few days back for testing positive. “Oman launched a programme for schools few years ago and that was a successful initiative. Everyone needs to know that when an athlete tests positive it is not about shame, it means the system is working fine,’’ Koehler added. Koehler said the Wada is here to raise the level of expertise of everyone involved in the anti-doping process. “We are here to raise the level of everyone’s expertise. We will assess the testing systems in place and see how we can get better with that,’’ he added. Today, the Oman Anti-Doping Committee will organize a workshop for athletes along with the secretaries and heads of various associations and federations.