African visit develops DCO skills

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African visit develops DCO skills

Russell Langley 

Harmonising sample collectionHarmonising sample collection
Photo/UK Sport

UK Sport recently shared its experience of training and developing Doping Control Officers (DCOs) at a recent workshop in South Africa as part of the MOU between the countries. The workshop was attended by over 50 DCOs from South Africa as well as DCOs from the Africa Zone V Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO).

Kevin Haynes, Testing Manager at UK Sport, presented at the workshop sharing best practice from UK case studies affecting DCOs. The workshop was hosted by the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) and Haynes stressed the value of such sessions:

“In order for the fight against doping in sport to be effective it has to be a truly global effort, with every nation meeting the required standards of operation across all areas of anti-doping. As the people out in the field collecting samples, the DCOs have a vital role to play in ensuring the sample collection process is properly carried out so it is vital they receive the right training and support to help them do their job. You can be the best NADO in the world but if you don’t communicate the key requirements of doping control to your DCOs then the effectiveness is lost.

“We have helped out now in a number of these sessions across the world and we look forward to continuing to assist WADA and other NADOs move towards a more consistent global system. Every session we attend also helps to develop our own DCO training and mentoring programmes as we continue to learn from our partner organisations around the world.”

Over the past 12 months, UK Sport has been involved in similar DCO workshops in Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the Maldives, in support of the West Asian RADO, Gulf Coast Countries and Yemen RADO and South Asian RADO respectively, as well as participating at the Canadian Centre for Ethics and Sport (CCES) DCO conference.

Staff from SAIDS will be visiting UK Sport in mid August also as part of the MOU.

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