Sri Lanka Anti-Doping Agency (SLADA) has been granted the honour of hosting the 15th Asia/Oceania Intergovernmental Ministerial Meeting on Anti-Doping in Sport. A media briefing headed by Hon. Faiszer Musthapha, Minister of Provincial Councils, Local Government and Sports, was held today (8th June) at the auditorium of the Department of Government Information. The meeting is scheduled to be held from 18th to 19th June, 2018 at the Kingsbury Hotel, Colombo.
Explaining further about the forthcoming meeting, Chairman of SLADA, Professor Arjuna de Silva and Director General of SLADA, Dr. Seevali Jayawickrama highlighted that a MoU with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) is expected to be signed parallel to this meeting. Through this MoU, the ASADA will share its knowledge and experience in fields like Testing, Education, Information Technology and Legal Mechanisms in research.
Also, the research unit of SLADA is expected to develop a research agreement to collaborate research with the Australian Drug Testing Laboratory. The approval by the Attorney General’s Department to sign the MoU has also been granted.
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It is expected that nearly 30 countries (out of 45 member countries) including Sri Lanka will participate in this meeting. It is also believed that this will have the highest participation in its history which runs back to 2004, with around 71 foreign delegates expected to participate. This will be President of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Sir. Craig Reedie’s first visit to Sri Lanka. He will be accompanied by several other officials of WADA.
‘Athlete’s Rights’ will be the theme for this year. Educating school children by adding Anti-Doping concepts to school syllabi is another area which is to be discussed during this 2-day long meeting.
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Hon. Minister Faiszer Musthapha stated that he is hoping to implement a rule for all sports, which ensures that each athlete is certified by the SLADA before participating in any international level competition. “The country’s dignity is as important as participating in sports. So, we need to give more authority to the SLADA to ensure nothing ruining the country’s dignity happens”.
He also went onto state the following, “We hope to create more awareness among school children all over Sri Lanka about banned substances and the negative effects of using them, so we wish the SLADA to have fruitful discussions with the arriving delegates and implement them to safeguard our children”
It was also revealed that a similar meeting for the South Asian region will also be hosted by SLADA on the 20th and 21st of June. The SLADA is expected to be shifted to a new ‘Independent’ building in the coming weeks and the South Asian delegates’ meeting will be hosted in it