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“Get used to getting banned,” says sports Minister

Posted: Monday, August 27, 2018. 8:22 a.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: Speaking on Belize’s recent suspension of Belize’s National Anti-Doping Organization, Sports Minister Patrick Faber told the nation that it’s something that will happen from time to time.

After the Regional Anti-Doping Organization for Central America (RODO-CAM) suspended Belize because the NADO representative missed three annual congresses in a row, Faber explained that funding played the ultimate role in the suspension.

“…until it is that we are getting some large sums of money allocated to the sporting portfolio then I am sorry, we will probably have to continue being dismissed at times,” Faber said.

Only a week prior to the suspension RODO-CAM had cited NADO for not being properly equipped to adequately store samples for drug testing in accordance with international standards, through the investigation into doping allegations against elite cyclist Brandon Cattouse.

The RODO-CAM arbitrator found that Cattouse’s urine samples were being kept in a personal refrigerator owned by the NADO representative, Dr. Michael Pitts, which should not have been the case. The arbitrator also noted that NADO did not have its own office, which led the regional organization to believe that Belize is not doing enough in the area of anti-doping.

Ian Jones, director of the National Sports Council, told Breaking Belize News that the suspension is “ironic,” because the council has already allocated the office space and is working in outfitting it with the necessary equipment and staff.

Jones said that the council is still trying to grasp the level of impact that the suspension will have on upcoming sporting events for the remainder of the year.

The Government of Belize can have the suspension lifted provided it pays for an extraordinary meeting of the RODO-CAM Congress and prove that it has addressed the organzation’s concerns.

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