WADA’s María José Pesce and David Julien were in Quito, Ecuador recently to mark the launch of the 16th Regional Anti-Doping Organization (RADO). The 4-5 November event also marked the first official meeting of the South American RADO (SAM-RADO) with representatives from the Sports Ministries and National Olympic Committees of Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru in attendance. The introduction of the 16th RADO means that WADA’s overall regional program development efforts now span 127 countries worldwide.
Throughout the two-day Board Meeting, representatives covered a wide range of issues and made a number of key decisions which will set the tone for anti-doping efforts in the region.
The meeting highlighted member countries’ full support of the SAM-RADO and focused on the establishment of the SAM-RADO Board internal governance principles, as well as the approval of its own Terms of Reference. Member countries also unanimously decided that the SAM-RADO office will be established in Paraguay where a full-time administrator will soon be appointed.
Importantly, the Board discussed upcoming priorities for the SAM-RADO and identified key capacity building actions for 2016 and beyond, based on national updates provided by each member country.
“WADA is very happy to support the South America RADO which will provide a great collaboration framework for its member countries and allow us to enhance the level of support we are able to provide to them,” said WADA Latin America Regional Office Director, María José Pesce.
“We have recently seen an increase in the number of positive doping cases in the region, and therefore the timing is perfect for Governments and National Olympic Committees (NOCs) to combine their efforts regionally to ensure that anti-doping structures are improved in each country and supported by their national authorities with the proper human and financial resources.”
The SAM-RADO Board agreed to meet again in 2016 in order to finalize its Constitution and elect its first Chairperson. In terms of programs, focus will be on developing out-of-competition testing opportunities and education initiatives within the region, for which WADA already offered its full support.