OBA C8 Candidate Ben Smith on World Anti-Doping Agency ruling  

Although it is possible that the Government may be able to quickly pull together the legislation to move Bermuda into compliancy, the reputational damage has already been done.
We need to have accountability in leadership and this is perfect time for the Minister of Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, Owen Darrell, to show it.
The local agency for anti-doping Bermuda Sports Anti-Doping Agency (BSADA) would have learned about required changes in 2022. There would have been communication from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)  with the exact wording required for the amendment and a deadline to have it completed. They would have given more than enough time for compliance and communication to warn of the deadlines.
Minister Darrell should be transparent and indicate the date that the Ministry was made aware of the requirement and deadline. What action was taken by his Ministry to have the Attorney General draft the amendment and when was that communicated?
There has been a breakdown in the system and the Minister needs to explain it. Brushing it under the rug because now it has become urgent isn’t good enough.
To say this is an embarrassment is an understatement since almost half of the sporting budget in Bermuda is allotted to BSADA so how could something so critical be missed?
The Minister thought it was important enough to attend the WADA Forum in January. According to a statement released on 28 January, “The minister joined other sports ministers throughout the Caribbean region at the forum to discuss matters such as; establishing a strong legal framework for anti-doping, further developing and implementing effective testing and education programmes and collaborating for protecting clean athletes and the integrity of sports”.

Now the Minister has failed to provide the legal framework that was requested by WADA. If BSADA communicated the requirements to the Minister and he didn’t do it, he should step down immediately in light of the international embarrassment that has been caused already.

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