Pacific Games Council Adopts International Anti-Doping Strategy

Presenter: Richard Ewart
Speaker: Andrew Minogue, Executive Director, Pacific Games Council

MINOGUE: WADA, which is the World Anti-Doping Agency have a regional office here which we call Oceania RADO, which is called the Regional Anti-Doping Organization. They're based in Suva and they've been working very closely with us the Pacific Games Council to make sure that we have basically a WADA compliant games, so that we have the drug testing protocols that most other international sporting organisations adhere to. We've had drug testing in previous games. We had over 100 tests at the Games in Samoa in 2007, we had tests in the Mini Games in 2009 in Cook Islands, but what we're doing now in signing up to the WADA processes and their policies is making sure that the way we handle the results, the way we notify countries that we're going to have a doping program, that we do that in a way that's complaint with international norms, so that we are seen as a WADA compliant organisation and a member of the group who are leading the fight against doping in sport.

EWART: How difficult though is it for you to have the necessary infrastructure in place? Obviously there is a need to have samples tested in that a problem?

MINOGUE: It's not a problem, it's a costly exercise. As I mentioned before, we've got the Oceania RADO office in Suva. The Pacific Games Council basically contract to them to deliver the doping program for us. They have the expertise and they have the knowledge. They have access to all the personnel and the training that's required for the doping offices at Games time. It is costly though. One of the cost factors that we can't avoid is the actual testing itself in the laboratories of the samples. It costs money to courier those to various labs around the world to get them tested. But it is a cost of the Games that our hosts here in New Caledonia and Samoa before them in '07 are prepared to take on, because I think you would understand for the host country, it's very important to make sure that the Games are clean and have a good image in terms of its anti-doping program.

EWART: So historically, have there been many drug failures at Pacific Games, if any?

MINOGUE: Historically, there haven't been many drug failures. I think there's been a couple of instances in previous Games where there was some results around cannabis, but we haven't had the problems that some other major international events have had and we don't want to, which is why we're very happy to have a solid doping program issue.

EWART: Do you think that that record gives the Pacific Games a particular flavour if you like? It's the old fashioned Olympic spirit going on it would appear?

MINOGUE: It would, and we hope it continues. I think there's a real spirit of family and solidarity in the Pacific Islands. When people come together, they compete, they play hard, but they also play true which is the motto of Oceania RADO. There's I think a spirit of making sure that we play by the rules and we achieve our performances doing our best in a way that's acceptable and legal to everybody

(extracted from ABC Radio Australia News:



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