Drug Free Sports Fiji holds workshop to outline officials’ Tokyo 2020 responsibilities

FILE PHOTO: Construction workers and passersby are seen through Olympic rings in front of the construction site of the New National Stadium, the main stadium of Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, in Tokyo, Japan June 13, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato

SUVA, 18 FEBRUARY 2020 (INSIDSE THE GAMES) – Drug Free Sports Fiji has held a workshop for officials expected to represent the country during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The workshop was aimed at outlining the responsibilities of both athletes and officials prior to and during the Games.

Patrick Bower, Fiji’s Chef de Mission, stressed the importance of ensuring officials are aware of the rules to ensure athletes do not inadvertently breach rules.

“It is important that officials know what the rules are because not knowing could lead to disqualification and also slur the reputation of Fiji,” Bower said.

“I cannot stress importantly enough that officials know the rules and regulations covering drug testing and anti-doping which must be followed at all times.”

Drug Free Sports Fiji officials Ulita Serukalou and Mosese Finau sought to train the officials at the workshop.

Serukalou said officials should seek to know where their athletes are at all times, as well as ensuring they become familiar with the Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS).

She warned that athletes could potentially face sanctions if they fail to update their whereabouts information accurately.

“We have encountered instances where athletes input their whereabouts on ADAMS but fail to update it because in Fiji movement is erratic and athletes often move around a lot,” Serukalou said.

“And because of this we are unable to do a drug testing and this could lead to an athlete being suspended or worse banned.

“Athletes in all sports must register their whereabouts at certain times so they can be drug-tested at random.”

Officials at the workshop were also told to ensure athletes were aware of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s prohibited list.

The Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee says anti-doping education is one of the key parts of its Voices of the Athletes outreach programs.

Drug Free Sport Fiji currently oversees anti-doping in the country, under guidance of the Oceania Regional Anti-Doping Organisation.

Fiji are aiming to send around 50 athletes to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The country will be represented in both the men’s and women’s rugby sevens tournaments at the Games.

Their men’s team will aim to retain the Olympic title they won at Rio 2016.

Fijian athletes are also attempting to also qualify in athletics, archery, judo, shooting, table tennis and swimming.

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