Belizean sports has an international black-eye because the National Anti-Doping body - known as NADO - has been suspended.
The decision was taken last week at a meeting of the Regional Anti-Doping Organization, RADO in Cuba. Belize's Rep Dr. Michael Pitts did not make it to the meeting - reportedly due to illness. But, it's the third time Belize has missed this meeting - and RADO says that's strike three.
In a letter to the Minister of Sports Patrick Faber and the President of the National Olympic Committee, Patrick Faber, the Chairman of RADO Dr. Saul Saucedo says, quote, "The members of the Advisory Board of the RADO-CAM express their concern about the absence of the representative of Belize in the meeting of the Advisory Board of the RADO-CAM, this year being the third time that he does not participate consecutively." o "Considering the above, the members of the Advisory Board of the RADO-CAM, agree to suspend the benefits and delegation of responsibilities in anti-doping matters of Belize." End quote.
So, that means NADO has been stripped of its power by the governing body - and cannot take samples from any athlete. It's a huge embarrassment, since an anti-doping is a critical part of international sport - and now Belize has no recognized body to do it.
We spoke to the President of the Olympic Committee, Hilly Martinez who lamented the development. He said that Belize will now have to set up an extraordinary meeting of the members of the Advisory Board of the RADO - at its own expense. He said Belize will also have to show them an office for the National Anti Doping body - and such an office will have to be built and outfitted. The Sports Council has reportedly agreed to house that office.
This embarrassment comes on the hells of another earlier this month when RADO had to lift a suspension on a banned athlete after it was found out that NADO doesn't have its own office or its own refrigeration to store samples. They were being stored in NADO Director Michael Pitts' refrigerator at home.Channel 7