Caribbean Governments sign anti-doping declaration as WADA encourages them to increase presence in the Americas region 
WADA agrees to change name of regional office to include Caribbean and pledges additional resources to facilitate more anti-doping activities 
MONTREAL: This week, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) President, Witold Bańka, was in Kingston, Jamaica, and called on Ministers of Sport and other Government representatives from countries in the Caribbean to amplify their collective actions and voices across the Americas region.

Speaking today at a WADA forum, which was graciously co-hosted by the Government of Jamaica, Mr. Bańka encouraged Governments represented to actively participate and share their views and experiences with their colleagues from the Sport Council of the Americas (CADE), which includes North and South America as well as the Caribbean.

Featuring representatives from eight countries, which included nine Sports Ministers, two Secretaries of State and the Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organization, the forum is part of a series of such events that WADA has been holding to gather and exchange views with Governments around the world. This is the third such forum for Caribbean Governments with an initial meeting having been held virtually in October 2022 followed by an in-person event in January 2023.

In his address, Mr. Bańka thanked the Jamaican hosts, represented by the Hon. Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, and all participants for their commitment in implementing clean sport initiatives. He said: “Anti-doping in the Caribbean has come a long way in recent years in the face of various challenges. Many Governments have led the way with determination and skill. And there is still more to be done. The time has come for them to share their experiences with the rest of the world. The perfect opportunity to do that will come at the end of April when the CADE meeting takes place in Washington D.C. This is the only pan-continental anti-doping forum and a great opportunity to network and collaborate.

“We all want to instill a culture of clean sport that protects athletes. Every stakeholder has a role to play – each cannot do it alone. As partners we must work together to achieve that. Collaboration is the key to meeting the challenges we face, and I want to make sure that is understood in the Caribbean. That is why meetings such as this are so important.”

Specifically, the forum’s agenda focused on providing an update on the anti-doping landscape in the Caribbean; the crucial role played by Governments in clean sport; how partnerships between National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs) are proving to be effective, with a specific case study on the collaborative work of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES); and the future of the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) and what it means for Governments.

In addition, the Governments present signed the ‘Kingston Declaration’, further cementing their desire to protect clean sport in the Caribbean region. In particular, the declaration commits to holding the forum on an annual basis in different Caribbean nations, it acknowledged the need to continue to strengthen anti-doping programs and for all Governments to support and uphold the Code and the UNESCO International Convention against Doping in Sport. Within the declaration, representatives also acknowledge the importance of their participation in the annual meeting of CADE on anti-doping.

Attendees welcomed a decision by WADA, made following a suggestion by Minister Grange, to recognize the importance of the Caribbean region in the name of the Agency’s regional office located in Montevideo, Uruguay, by changing it from the ‘Latin America Office’ to the ‘Latin America and Caribbean Office’.

Minister Grange said: “In light of the discussions today I recommended to the WADA President that he considers renaming the Latin America Office to the Latin America and Caribbean Office as it would reaffirm the commitment to continue the collaboration with the sub-region of the Caribbean. I am delighted to say he agreed and the office has now be so renamed.” 

Mr. Bańka added: “I am delighted that we are able to make this simple but important change and I thank Minister Grange for her suggestion. The new title better reflects the scope of the region and acknowledges the efforts of the Caribbean nations in the protection of clean sport.” 

Mr. Bańka said WADA stood ready to provide support to Governments in their efforts to strengthen their anti-doping programs, reminding the ministers of resources and existing tools that could assist the region, particularly when it came to testing and education. Specifically, he pledged additional resources from WADA, including a 50% increase in the Agency’s financial contribution to the Caribbean, bringing the 2024 total to USD 225,000.

During his visit to Kingston, Mr. Bańka will also meet with the Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, to discuss the current state of anti-doping in the country.  
Media Contact James Fitzgerald
Head of Media Relations
+ 1-514-265-8031
media@wada-ama.orgAndrew Maggio
Manager, Media Relations and Communications
+ 1-514-904-8781
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Formed in 1999, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is an international independent agency composed and funded by the Sport Movement and Governments of the world. As the global regulatory body, WADA’s primary role is to develop, harmonize and coordinate anti-doping rules and policies across all sports and countries. Our key activities include: ensuring and monitoring effective implementation of the World Anti-Doping Code and its related International Standards; scientific and social science research; education; intelligence and investigations; and, building anti-doping capacity with anti-doping organizations worldwide.