The Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee's (FASANOC’s) Medical Commission held a workshop for officials expected to represent Fiji during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,2022 Pacific Mini Games and the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The workshop which was facilitated by Oceania Regional Anti-Doping Organisation’s, FatafehiDaunivuka, was aimed at outlining the responsibilities of both athletes and officials with regards to Anti-Doping prior to and during the Games.
Fatafehi, stressed the importance of athletes and officials being aware of the rules and most importantly the "principle of strict liability."
"It basically means that each athlete is strictly liable for the substance(s) found in his or her body, as a result of testing" he said.
"An anti-doping rule violation occurs whenever a prohibited substance is found in an athlete, whether or not the athlete intentionally or unintentionally used a prohibited substance or was negligent or otherwise at fault."
He said this was why it was important for athletes to take responsibility and learn about these violations and not depend solely on managers or coaches to know everything.
Fatafehi throughout the workshop stressed on athletes knowing about Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) Forms, Anti-Doping Management System or ADAMS Whereabouts, Medications Declaration and Anti-Doping Violations.
“We cannot stress enough to the athletes that athletes and their support personnel know the rules and regulations covering drug testing and anti-doping which must be followed at all times," he said.
Fiji Amateur Boxing Association's, Anaseini Ledua said she was encouraged by the workshop.
"Right now I feel it is our responsibility as a National Federation to ensure that our athletes are compliant with the anti-doping laws," she said.
"It is also important that we take back what we learnt and share it with our peers."
Athletics Coach, Bola Tafo'ou said the responsibility of not only athletes but also athlete support personnel to know the anti-doping rules.
"It is also important that we constantly go back and refresh our minds on the laws and rules and find out what has changed especially with COVID-19 having an effect on everything now," he said.
Team Fiji Chef de Mission to Tokyo 2020, Patrick Bower said all sports wanting to be a part of Team Fiji to the Olympics will need to make an effort to educate themselves on the anti doping rules and regulations.
"It is important that officials and athletes know what the rules are because not knowing could lead to disqualification and also slur the reputation of Fiji," Mr Bower said.
The workshop was funded by the International Olympic Committee Olympic Solidarity under the Sports Medicine and Protection of Clean Athletes program. An additional workshop on First Aid will be held this coming weekend again targeting officials to the upcoming Games in 2021.