Legislation for Barbados Project

Background: The Fund for the Elimination of Doping in Sport was established in 2008 to assist States Parties to the International Convention against Doping in Sport develop and implement anti-doping projects.

Aim: Providing practical and technical support, the Fund has three priorities: education projects focusing on youth and sport organizations, policy advice, and mentoring and capacity-building projects.

Project for the Development of a New Anti-Doping Legislation for Barbados

Description: The National Anti-Doping Commission (NADC) was established by the Government of Barbados in March 2000 with the objective of acting as the independent Anti-Doping Organization for Barbados. The parent Ministry of the Commission is the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth. The NADC is affiliated to the Barbados Olympic Association and the Caribbean Regional anti-Doping Organization.

Prior to 2007 the National Anti-Doping Commission had adopted a policy named “The Barbados Policy on Doping in Sport” which set out to ensure that appropriate penalties were imposed on athletes, coaches and others for using banned substances and also set out the procedures for determining infractions, dealing with individuals and organizations found to have committed infractions, handling protests and appeals related to Doping Control Procedures and the determination of infractions and reinstating those individuals sanctioned as a result of such infractions.

In 2007, Barbados formulated an Anti-Doping Bill in response to certain requirements for the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup. This Bill has however proved to be outdated and never reached the Parliament. Since then, there have been significant amendments to Anti-Doping Rules and Regulations worldwide which came about as a result of extensive consultations among stakeholders that necessitated changes to anti-doping policies and programmes. Significant amendments have been made to the World Anti-Doping Code with the revised 2015 Code came into force on January 1, 2015. The NADC, in an effort to remain current given the amendments to the revised Code, has successfully incorporated all mandatory articles of the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code into their Rules, thereby ensuring that the NADC is compliant with the revised 2015 Code Updating the Rules of the NADC illustrated the need for legislation which would strengthen our existing policies and also serve to regulate the function of the NADC as well as ensure that the sanctions imposed are legally binding.

The sports community and the public at large in Barbados have been concerned about the threats to the integrity of sports. Subsequent information from anti-doping authorities has suggested a potential threat to a number of sports from a new generation of Performance Enhancing Drugs, some of these substances are not yet approved for human consumption. Additionally, there has been the identification of organized crime entities and groups that are involved in the domestic distribution of Performance Enhancing Drugs. These developments no doubt pose not only integrity concerns in sports, but stress the importance of having the legal mechanism in the form of legislation in place so as to adequately address any issue(s) which may arise.

Specifically, legislation will seek to address inter alia:

  1. Better protection from non-compliant athletes and support personnel.
  2. Better protection from dangerous and organized criminal activity.
  3. Investigations of a public or private nature.
  4. Clarity, consistency, and transparency in the determination of sanctions.
  5. Collaboration between Investigative Authorities and Anti-Doping Authorities.
  6. Consistency and compliance with the requirements of the World Anti-Doping Code and the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport.
  7. Improvement and clarity of the legal decision making structure in Barbados.
  8. Collaboration with pharmaceutical and laboratory authorities.

The need to have anti-doping legislation in place is important for a small developing country like Barbados as it speaks to the fact that Barbadians at all times want to compete fairly on the world’s sports stage and as such would signal to the world that Barbados is inherently serious about stamping out the scourge of prohibited substances at all levels.

Objectives to be achieved by the project:

  1. Develop and adopt new anti-doping legislation.
  2. Strengthen the ability of local regulatory arm to respond to doping challenges.
  3. Greater anti-doping awareness, understanding and involvement among stakeholders from dialogue and research.
  4. Launch website and other communication tools for the purpose of proclamation of the legislation for the public.
  5. Create the NADO (to operate autonomously).
  6. Require binding sport arbitration for doping cases (in place of the domestic courts) and create a national sport dispute resolution body.
  7. Give special powers to the NADO (for example, to compel cooperation with anti-doping investigations).
  8. Authorise domestic information sharing between the NADO and public authorities such as the police, customs, public prosecutors, national postal services, and drug and health regulators, and information sharing internationally.
  9. Directly implement the 2015 World Anti-Doping Code and the International Standards.
  10. Criminalise the possession, trafficking, import/export of Prohibited Substances (in addition to any general laws for the control or criminalisation of drugs).
  11. Criminalise use of Prohibited Substances by athletes.
  12. Require professional governing bodies (for doctors, pharmacists, coaches, etc.) to discipline their members for doping.
  13. Recognise/implement international anti-doping commitments (International Convention against Doping in Sport).

Current Status of the project

The Consultants, J Tyrone Marcus, the regional and sports law consultant, who played a key role as the legal consultant in drafting the Trinidad and Tobago Legislation in 2013, and David Lech, an international consultant who is currently the in-house counsel at the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports (CCES), were selected have submitted the final report to the Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, the Honourable Stephen Lashley, M.P.,through Mr. Stephen Rowe, Sports Development Officer, for submission to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel for their action.