19 November 2009
The Commonwealth Secretariat and the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) have placed four experts in the Caribbean, East Africa, the Pacific, and Southern Africa to provide leadership and guidance in the development of anti-doping programmes
The advisers have been based in Regional Anti-Doping Organizations (RADOs), which focus on developing and implementing an ‘Education Strategy’ for their respective regions as well as establishing anti-doping rules and regulations. RADOs also provide assistance to individual countries, in order to ensure these anti-doping policies are implemented.
Over the last three years, the four regional experts have introduced a number of activities and projects to raise awareness about the dangers of drug taking:
In the Caribbean
In the Pacific
In East Africa
In Southern Africa
Warning from a role model:
Before running out on to a dry and dusty football pitch in Nampula, Mozambique’s third largest city, Aquimo Rachide and his teammates were regularly given a pill from their elderly masseur.
All they were ever told about this pill, which swiftly became a natural part of their preparation for matches, was that it would “invigorate them while they were playing”.
Mr Rachide, now 52, recalls that during games when he took this drug, called ‘lipo’, he had much more energy than usual. Yet, during the days which followed these matches, extreme tiredness crept in as his body felt increasingly weak.
“As soon as I had taken the pill I felt like Superman, but a few hours after the game finished I felt drastically different to the point where I could hardly move.
“Looking back it seems obvious, but at the time I didn’t link the drugs to how I was feeling.”
During the four years which Mr Rachide took the drug, between the ages of 23 to 28, his body grew more and more frail as his reliance on these pills failed to replace a lack of food in his diet.
Twenty years later, Mr Rachide is a physical education teacher in Maputo, and works with Mr Libombo, advising young people on the dangers of drugs.
Mr Rachide explains his own story as a warning to young people, to stop them following the same path he took.
This partnership project comes to across by the end of November 2009 when it is handed over to the Regional Anti Doping Organisations.