Olympic Association Chief Says FNM Government Fails On Sports Doping

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Romell Knowles, Chief of the Bahamas Olympic Association, released this letter warning the Government on the failure of its actions on sports doping:

Dear Hon. Minister L. Rolle

Dear Hon. P.S. E. Poitier

Re:  BADC Doping Code 2021

I am advised that the Bahamas may not be compliant by adopting the BADC new anti doping code for enforcement 2021.

It was suggested,- the reasoning perhaps centres around a required approval of and by the Bahamas Parliament.

May I humbly suggest, this is NOT necessarily the case in this instance as…many Anti Doping Agencies from  around the world have each signed an  agreement with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The Bahamas signed in 2003 to join the  International Convention Against Doping In Sports.


The National Anti-Doping Program

The Bahamas Anti-Doping Commission was established on August 5, 2009 by an Act of Parliament by the Government of The Bahamas, with the objective of acting as the National Anti-Doping Organisation for The Bahamas. As such, and in accordance with Article 20.5.1 of the Code.

Therefore as outlined in page 4 of the updated code marked May 2020 – the Parliament has already granted all required and necessary approvals for the establishment of the BADC who’s sole responsibility is to formulate it’s code in accordance with World Anti Doping. 

As a matter of fact, only the BADC can formulate it’s code with WADA’s approval, and then be charged with enforcement of the said code.

Although the signature of the Minister and BOC is requires. It is merely a ceremonial protocol indicating the respective bodies are party and in agreement with the established BADC Code who answers only to WADA on matters pertaining to the Code.

The question arises then, why would the Bahamas Government renege on being party to the code established by it’s own Anti Doping Commission  it enacted and empowered and cause to come into being by an act of it’s very own Parliament.

Since the BADC code meets the global standard in accordance with and approved by WADA; its mere fools play to renege on such an important document that actually protects the Bahamas Anti Doping Commission, Bahamian athletes and other significant stake holders involved and engaged in Bahamian sports. 

Effectively, the Bahamas Anti Doping Commission have no code by which key stakeholders must be guided. In layman’s terms the commission is stripped of its authority; thereby having NO guiding principles empowered to enforce.

Further, it may be suggested that the Bahamas has withdrawn it’s signature, membership from the UNESCO convention which speaks to and against doping in sports.

Should the Bahamas Anti Doping Commission not be empowered to conduct it’s testing regime, the scrutiny of ALL Bahamian athletes will be heard around the world, ruining our country’s reputation as a clean state-free of drug cheats in sports.

In an Olympic cycle – Bahamian athletes may be called out because their anti doping commission and by extension the Bahamas is none compliant with the mandated code.

It is my sincere wish; wisdom will abound over I’ll advised and premature neglect to do that which is right by signing and being party to a code that promotes excellence.

I remain your humble servant at your disposal.

Romell K. Knowles
Bahamas Olympic Committee