Get tested! NSC to assist associations with cost of random drug testing

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In a continuous effort to promote ‘clean sports’, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, through the National Sports Commission (NSC), will be footing the cost for one random drug test per selective National Sports Association and Federation.

Director of Sport, Steve Ninvalle, made the declaration on Saturday.

Ninvalle said the decision came following much conversation with associations, while also taking into consideration that the NSC is cognisant of the fact that the costs for drug testing of athletes across the various sport disciplines are prohibitive.

In explaining the Ministry’s position, the Director explained that the testing of athletes by the sports bodies has been a constant challenge over the years. He added that the NSC and the Ministry of Sport are aiming for the holistic growth of national athletes, hence the latest move.

“We would like to see holistic development of our athletes as well as them being aware of what is expected. It is only fair that our associations and federations breathe with some degree of certainty when it comes to this very important aspect of sports – drug testing,” Ninvalle said.

According to the former Member of Parliament, the NSC and the Ministry’s intention is to embrace International best practices as much as possible.

“We want to do everything within our power to ensure that our national athletes are best possible candidate to represent us with as little flaws as possible,” Ninvalle added.

“What the NSC will be do is provide funding for one random drug test during national competition. Of course, this is not going to be for all sports disciplines, but we want to give the associations the ability and resources to do what’s rights internationally. They must get accustomed to such practice,” Ninvalle reiterated.

He also highlighted the need for athletes to be educated regarding what they are allowed to use as supplements and even as medication.

“Athletes also need to educate themselves on what is required of them in and out of competition with regards to what they put into their bodies. So it’s not just discipline in how you train, but also what you consume.”

Dr. Karen Pilgrim is Guyana’s Doping Control Officer and Director of the Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO), which is chaired by Patrick Werleman of Aruba.

Over the years, not many athletes from Guyana have tested positive for banned substances under the guidelines of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), but those found guilty were sanctioned and served their time away from their respective sport.

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