UKAD Chief Executive Andy Parkinson and Major Events Manager Hamish Coffey visited Minsk in Belarus on 17-19 April to meet with government officials and the Belarus national anti-doping organisation.
Having been approached by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in 2011, the aspiration is for UKAD to assist the Belarus NADO in further developing their anti-doping programme. Joined by WADA Standards and Harmonisation Director Rune Andersen, the UKAD representatives spent two days discussing how they may be able to support Belarus formally over a three-year period.
Meetings were held with senior government officials, including the Assistant to the President, Minister for Sport and Tourism and his deputy, with the NADO falling under the responsibility of the Ministry in Belarus.
UK Anti-Doping Chief Executive Andy Parkinson said: “This has been an interesting and highly beneficial visit. With limited resources, the Belarus NADO has a developing programme which I believe we can support to enhance Belarus’ capacity to tackle doping.
“We aim to focus on all areas of their prevention activities, in the hope that developing their intelligence, education, detection and prosecution capabilities will be of local and global benefit. This is a positive step for athletes around the world as we continually strive to create a level-playing field globally.”
UK Anti-Doping is already actively involved in supporting WADA’s Regional Anti-Doping Organisation programme. Alongside this programme WADA are trying to find alternative ways of supporting nations which do not necessarily fit the RADO model, which is designed for small and/or developing nations who have neighbours of similar needs.
In 2008, Anti-Doping Norway entered into a three year agreement, facilitated and supported by WADA, with the Russian NADO to assist in the further development of the Russian anti-doping programme. This arrangement has since been extended by another three years and has resulted in a more effective programme in Russia.