There is an almost one hundred percent certainty that the Barbadian contingent of athletes headed to Rio will not be among those busted for performance enhancing drug use.
That assurance has come from Barbados chef de mission to the Rio Olympics 2016, Dr Adrian Lorde, who told Barbados TODAY that leading up to his new role as head of the Barbados Olympics delegation, he has been spearheading and conducting a number of surprise tests among athletes for illegal substances.
“All of our athletes are being tested for anti-doping and so far they have not been any adverse findings. We would have sneaked up on them while they were here for nationals competing in athletics, swimming, shooting, triathlon, tennis, as not to get any surprises in Rio. They also need to give their whereabouts because they will be tested again in Rio,” said Lorde, the current chairman of the Regional Anti-Doping Organization.
No Barbadian athlete has ever tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs at the Summer Olympics.
Lorde has taken up the post as manager of the Barbados team for the first time after having the honour of being head physician in the past. He was nominated by the Barbados Olympic Association to lead the Barbadian delegation comprising of 13 athletes competing in five different sporting disciplines when the August 5 to 21 Games commence.
He also spoke about the growing concerns about the Zika virus and said they had taken every precaution necessary, including ensuring that all Barbadian athletes and officials have been immunized.
In addition, the Barbados Olympic Committee has also been issued with a number of notices by the Ministry of Health, World Health Organization and International Olympic Committee informing the athletes and officials that the likelihood of contracting Zika would be very minimal.
This would be Lorde’s sixth Olympics outing after attending Barcelona in 1992, Atlanta in 1996, then in 2004 he was invited by the World Anti-Doping Agency to the Athens Olympics where he had the distinct honour of observing and scrutinizing the International Olympic Committee event. He also went to the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the London Games in 2012.
As chef de mission Lorde will have the task of dealing with the finances, ensure the athletes’ entries are in place, that the athletes themselves and officials are happy with their accommodations, meals are arranged among other things, including departure which he said would be a challenge knowing that everyone leaves around the same time after the Olympics.
In fact, Lorde noted that even before the Olympics they would have a few challenges because the Games start just after Crop Over when everybody would be leaving Barbados. The team ceremony will be on Kadooment Day when the Mayor of the Village welcomes the Barbados team.
“Most of the regional athletes are going through Miami to get flights down to Rio from Miami and that has been a challenge. But our travel agency have been working on it and we will leave [be in Brazil] early which is good,” explained Lorde, who also revealed that the athletes would receive their team competition gear once they had arrived in Rio.
The top physician also pointed out that the team was accustomed seeing him in the capacity as doctor but said he had lots of faith in the medical team which comprised team physio Dr. Rene Best, massage therapist Cheryl Toppin and athletics therapist Chalice Jordan.
The Barbados contingent: (athletics) Akela Jones, Sada Williams, Tia-Adana Belle, Ramon Gittens, Kierre Beckles, Levi Cadogan, Burkheart Ellis; (swimming) Alex Sobers, Lani Cabrera; (tennis) Darian King, (triathlon) Jason Wilson; (shooting) Michael Maskell.