Fiji Rugby has now signed a doping control service agreement with the Oceania Regional Anti-Doping Organization (ORADO) with the objective of introducing and embedding anti-doping education awareness and testing at the domestic competition level.
Fiji Rugby Chief Executive Mr. John O’Connor said “Our elite and national players are already subjected to random out-of-competition testing (OOCT) and we are happy to have now reached an agreement with ORADO to start at domestic competition level.”
Anti-Doping (AD) testing is already part of the Terms of Participation for both the Fiji Rugby Skipper Cup and the Fiji Rugby Vodafone Vanua Championship but the implementation was delayed due to COVID-19.
Mr. O’Connor said, “When we were allowed to kick off our domestic competition, our focus was our compliance to COVID-19 return to play requirements. After several discussions and seeking World Rugby and Oceania Rugby guidance, we have now agreed to a process and ready to commence AD education and testing.”
“We are doing this as part of our efforts to “keep rugby clean”, World Rugby Regulation 21, and also support the Government’s fight against the use of drugs and illegal substances.
We are also ensuring that our players start to uphold the principles of clean sports from an early stage of their careers so that they don’t encounter problems when they represent our country at the international level,” Mr. O’Connor said.
“From this week until the finals on 14 November 2020, no advance notice and random In-competition test (ICT) missions will be conducted at FRU sanctioned sporting venue,” he said.
Fiji Rugby is grateful for the support shown by all its member unions.
“All participating unions were notified on this new move a few weeks back and how this discipline will ultimately benefit them and their players,” Mr. O’Connor said.
“We look forward to working with ORADO and the member Unions in this regard and on any competition that may fall within that period.
“In collaboration with Drug-Free Sport FIJI (DFSF), Play True Pasifik (PTP) educators will be offering Anti-Doping (AD) education awareness sessions to interested Skipper Cup teams’ rugby athletes, coaches, administrators and athlete support personnel,” MS Natanya POTOI, ORADO Executive Officer said.
For any national athlete, we try to ensure that there first experience with AD is education rather than tests to enable athletes are well versed with the Doping Control process, their rights and responsibilities, and consequences to committing an Anti-Doping Rule Violation, she added.