Several months ago, the National Anti-Doping Organization of Belize, NADO, was suspended from the Regional Anti-Doping Organization due to several infractions. In February Brandon Cattouse participated in the three day Valentine’s Classic Tour in which he won second place. He gave the standard urine sample for doping which was administered by Dr. Michael Pitts, who was the volunteer representative of NADO. When the results came back to Belize in April, the samples were reported to be adverse. The case would then go to arbitration at the Regional Anti-Doping Organization of Central America (RADO-CAM). That is when it was revealed that Pitts stored the urine samples in a private refrigerator which went against standards. Cattouse won his case but that’s when Belize was suspended.The Government of Belize, through the National Sports Council in consultation with the National Olympic Committee formed a task group that took the necessary steps to have the suspension lifted. Love news spoke with the new Director of NADO-Belize, Charlie Slusher.
Charlie Slusher – Director of NADO-Belize: “We were not showing up at the Board meetings. I think we missed three consecutive board meetings and once you’re a part of the organization then you automatically become a member of the board that makes up the R.A.D.O. which is the Regional Anti-Doping Organization and you are expected to be there so that you can give feedback about your program that you’re running in your country as well as how the organization can help you to progress. But when you are not showing up at any of the board meetings I guess it shows that we were not putting the amount of interest that we should as an Organization.
Slusher said that NADO had to take several corrective measures in order to be reinstated into the Regional Anti-Doping Organization.
Charlie Slusher – Director of NADO-Belize: “As an organization we need to stay in compliance with the Regional Anti-Doping as well as the World Anti-Doping Agency so we had to go through that document and fulfil the obligation. Now you had the corrective action; these are the steps you need to take as an organization, how you are going to do it so that that would be your action plan so yes they gave us what we needed to do and we said okay this is what we need to do and they wanted us to say when it was that we were going to do it but basically it’s routine. It’s routine information that you are supposed to be doing anyway as an Anti-Doping Organization and what happened I think it was in 2016 we had agreed to have certain things in place and we did not achieve those goals. So we had to put all these plans into steps so that we could move forward and then from there they would comment on it and they would give you the feedback. For example, once you are cleared in a sense that they accepted that your plan is realistic and you’re meeting the deadlines it is an indication that now you can now apply to be reintegrated back into the R.A.D.O. About 2 weeks ago we applied, we wrote to the Chairman of R.A.D.O. and the process started. The process was simply that our letter of commitment was circulated to all the board members within Central America who make up the R.A.D.O. and they voted by email to decide. It was unanimously decided by all parties to reintegrate Belize back in to the R.A.D.O.
Slusher added that there are still some actions NADO needs to complete by the middle of next year to ensure it remains in compliance with the Regional Anti-Doping Organization.