KUWAIT, Jan 21 (KUNA) -- The Third Conference of the Regional Anti-Doping Organizations (RADO) kicked off Tuesday with the participation of representatives of 123 countries, [including Caribbean RADO representatives Dr. Adrian Lorde (Chairman) and Mrs. Tessa Chaderton-Shaw (Executive Director)].

RADO organizes this conference in cooperation with the Olympic Council of Asia and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

In a speech read out on behalf of Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, OCA Director General Hussein Al-Mussallam stated that combating doping is of a great importance to sports. He noted that the use of doping threaten the very sense of fairness in sports.

He pointed out that the 15 years-long cooperation between OCA and WADA proved very fruitful in curbing doping in Asia, particularly during the Asian Games.
The number of athletes who used to test positive for doping usage was between 50-60, but through cooperation with WADA, the OCA managed to take this number down to 15 only, Al-Mussallam unveiled.

He stressed that the OCA is keen on continuing cooperation with WADA and RADO to eradicate doping in Asia sport.
He called on all countries to take all necessary measures and to cooperate with international and regional organizations to put an end to such a negative phenomenon.

He expressed hopes the conference would end up with resolutions and recommendations to achieve this important goal.For his part, WADA Chief Craig Reedie applauded the high level cooperation between WADA and OCA.

Holding this conference in Kuwait for the third time shows WADA's great interest in intensifying efforts to combat doping in sport in Asia and the whole world, Reedie said.

He stated that WADA aims to raise awareness about the dangers of athletes' use of steroids in sport and to encourage athletes to abide by relevant regulations.
He underscored the importance of cooperation among all relevant organizations and all making use of the best practices examples in doping control.
The four-day conference features various activities that tackle wide array of key issues relevant to latest studies, approach, legislations and success stories as well as international conventions in fighting doping in sports.

RADO are established by a group of countries to coordinate, manage and implement doping-free sport programs in a specific region.

Member states pool financial resources and expertise to implement quality anti-doping programs that comply with the World Anti-Doping Code.

There are currently 15 RADO bringing together over 119 countries worldwide. RADO can help international federations, major event organizations and other stakeholders with: in-competition and out-of-competition testing utilizing a global network of qualified Doping Control Officers, therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUE) through trained and functioning TUE Committees, results management and appeals through regional expert panels, and education and awareness, using local languages and personnel to deliver anti-doping messages. (end) fs.ibi KUNA 220013 Jan 14NNNN