By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
THE Bahamas Anti-Doping Commission (BADC) seeks to repurpose its profile in order for athletes and the general public to get a greater understanding and appreciation of what the organisation does.
Newly appointed executive director of the BADC, Petra Haven, said the group continues to implement a series of initiatives including an updated website, community outreach and educational campaign.
The commission's site http://www.bahamasadc.org/ has become an accessible information hub complete with a complete list of prohibited drugs, the anti-doping sports act and a "Test Your Drug" app that allows users to input the name of their product in question and receive an immediate response on whether it is fit for legal consumption.
"One of the things we wanted to do was a digital information hub. We wanted persons to have access to the information at any hour of the day, no matter where they are, once you have access to the Internet you are able to educate and protect yourself. We want them on the go, or out of the country to be able to find any and everything they need to know.
"Even though they have access to us within the office, the website is now our first point of contact," she said. "We also needed to have something appealing to millennials. Many athletes still have difficulty understanding the full scope of what doping is. It's not just testing and we want them to grasp that and have all of the information necessary to make responsible decisions for their supplementation and nutrition."
According the commission, their primary function is to facilitate the control and prevention of doping in sports, including: implementing the policies and programmes of the Government against doping in sports; doing all things necessary to comply with and implement the articles of the Anti-Doping Code and making rules for controlling the occurrence of doping in sports.
"We have to let people know who we are and what we do because some people just don't know. To that end we will feature ad campaigns, educational seminars, social media outreach, working along with the ministry to host 'Clean Sports Week,' and showing up at as many of the sporting events as we can to interact with the community," Haven said.
"In addition to the website, we want to revisit going into the schools, talking to the kids, even those that are not athletes to get that education started early and forming relationships with the sporting federations when they are having events, practices, anywhere athletes gather - we want the commission to have a presence outside of testing just to build relationships. People always have questions about this topic of anti-doping because it is something that affects everyone. So an issue this wide ranging deserves the attention of the entire community."
The basic framework for the commission's work is "to protect the athletes' fundamental right to participate in doping-free sport and thus promote health, fairness and equality for athletes nationwide."
Additionally, the current environment and emerging trends in the areas of education, science, medicine, international trafficking of doping substances, and investigations as well as WADA's governance and operational activities provide the context for the objectives and strategies of the commission.
"There are certain things that we must have in place. We need to have standard procedures that need to be in place and we need to have those for our organisation. We need to ensure our athletes know they are in or out of a registered testing pool. Things as simple as that we always need to make sure we have in place because that is a part of our compliance," Haven said.
"We want everyone to be involved in the process and if you have everyone involved in the process it makes things run smoother. When you look at what our small country has been able to achieve on the international stage we have to protect the integrity of those achievements and our reputation of fair play."
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