WADA sends Athlete Engagement team to CARIFTA Games in Grenada


The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is pleased to share its plan to promote clean sport during the 2024 CARIFTA Games, fulfilling a commitment made by WADA during a recent visit to the region. 

The Games will take place this weekend at the Kirani James Athletic Stadium, in St. George’s, Grenada, from 30 March to 1 April and will feature around 700 athletes from 27 countries. Founded in 1972, the Games are held annually and include a number of track and field competitions featuring athletes from the under-17 and under-20 age categories. 

WADA’s Athlete Engagement team, including two Olympians from the Caribbean, will be present at the CARIFTA Games to deliver the Agency’s ‘One Play True Team’ campaign. This engagement initiative is part of the additional support WADA pledged for the region in January 2024 during an anti-doping forum in Kingston, Jamaica. The Forum -- which was attended by Ministers of Sport from several Caribbean Governments, other senior public authority representatives and regional anti-doping stakeholders -- resulted in a number of decisions being taken to raise awareness and promote clean sport in the region. 

WADA President Witold Bańka said: “WADA is keen to deliver on its promise to take more deliberate steps to promote and protect clean sport in the Caribbean region. At the Forum held in Jamaica, we called on those in attendance to amplify their actions and work collaboratively in implementing clean sport initiatives in the Caribbean. The Athlete Engagement program that is being organized for the CARIFTA Games is a strong first step, with the collaboration between the Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organization, the Grenada National Anti-Doping Organization and WADA serving as a blueprint for others in the region to follow in the future.” 

The Athlete Engagement program, which will be delivered in collaboration with the Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organization (Caribbean RADO) with support from the Grenada National Anti-Doping Organization, will leave a legacy, in that the promotional resources will be left behind for similar activities at future events held in the region.   

The athlete-led team includes:    

  • Mikel Thomas (Trinidad and Tobago), two-time Pan American Games medalist, Olympic hurdler and national record holder (110m hurdles); 

  • Aliann Pompey (Guyana), former Chair of the Panam Sports Athletes’ Commission and four-time Olympic 400m runner; 

  • Dr. Sasha Sutherland (Trinidad and Tobago), Executive Director, Caribbean RADO; 

  • Marsha Boyce (Barbados), Communications and Projects Manager, Caribbean RADO; 

  • Racquel "Rocky" Seecharram (Grenada), Education Team Member, Grenada NADO and former national team cyclist; and 

  • Raphael Rezende (Brazil), Government Relations for WADA in Latin America and the Caribbean Region. 

Mr. Thomas said: “We are enthusiastic about delivering WADA’s Athlete Engagement program at this year’s CARIFTA Games. WADA has consistently championed the importance of engaging with young athletes and their entourage as early as possible. An event like the CARIFTA Games, where all the athletes competing are under 20 years old, represents an exceptional opportunity to address youth elite athletes from the Caribbean region in a welcoming setting. Aliann Pompey and I both competed internationally for many years, so this year’s competitors will be able to connect with people who have lived similar experiences. We are looking forward to sharing our knowledge and advice with this generation of Caribbean athletes.” 

Dr. Sutherland said: “The CARIFTA Games is one of the largest junior athletics events in the Caribbean, and one of the best in the world. Many of the region’s top Olympians competed at this meet during the early stages of their development. As such, this is a perfect platform on which to connect with our regional juniors, and further promote the values of clean sport. At the Caribbean RADO, our vision is to have a unified region, committed to clean sport. We are excited to engage with the athletes and their support personnel from across the Caribbean in a fun and interactive way, while sharing valuable anti-doping information and raising awareness about clean sport. We look forward to working with WADA in delivering the Athlete Engagement Program in collaboration with the athlete ambassadors and the Grenada National Anti-Doping Organization." 

Following the CARIFTA Games, Raphael Rezende, Government Relations for WADA in Latin America and the Caribbean Region, will meet with the Grenadian Minister of Youth and Sports, Honorable Gayton Jonathan La Crette. The meeting will focus on the discussions held during the aforementioned WADA Forum in Jamaica, and the Agency’s presence at the CARIFTA Games.