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First ABCD Doping Control Personnel Training Program exceeded expectations

"I want to thank ABCD for the opportunity to participate as a candidate in the selection process and subsequently in the DCO Training Course. It was truly excellent in all respects and exceeded the expectations of everyone I spoke with.  We could see the huge effort undertaken to create conditions of excellence in this area, fully aware that change is not a one-time event, but a process." Carlos Pinheiro’s positive comment together with those of other participants are evidence of the success of ABCD´s first Missions for the Doping Control Personnel Training Program."

Between the 4th and 9th of August, at the headquarters of the Federação de Futebol do Estado do Rio de Janeiro – FERJ, the Autoridade Brasileira de Controle de Dopagem – ABCD,  in partnership with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) trained 58 Doping Control Officials (DCOs) and 73 Chaperone Leaders for a  total of  131 officials.

The 1st Training Program was focused on the DCOs with practical and theoretical modules conducted by ABCD and USADA.  The 2nd Training Program which was for Chaperones was conducted solely by the ABCD team. On the last day of the class session DCOs participated in a field simulation of an in-competition doping control operation lasting for five hours.  For this, the facilities of Maracanã stadium, site of the FIFA World Cup final were used. Role playing simulations used in the training session were designed to replicate real life.

Marcelo Urbano, who was in the second group of Chaperone Leaders, liked the result of the training workshop. "The course was very positive, from the moment we arrived and all through the classes. The time passed quickly, this was due to the quality of the professionals who taught the classes and the real life simulations that were presented on the field by our instructors. Doping Control is an extremely important step for sport and it is not properly emphasized in Brazil. We are anxious to get onto the field."

Various VIPs from Sport and Government were present for the opening session of the Training Program.  Among them; the ex-Olympic athlete and Director of Medical Services and Doping Control of the Organizing Committee for the Rio2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Dr. João Grangeiro,  President of the Doping Control Commission of the Confederação Brasileira de Futebol (CBF), Fernando Solera, Director of the Laboratório Brasileiro de Controle de Dopagem - LBCD, Dr. Francisco Radler,  President of the Federação de Futebol do Estado do Rio de Janeiro - FERJ, Rubens Lopes, Director of the Instituto das Ciências de Futebol of FERJ, Dr. Wagner Figueiredo,  Director of Operations and Services for the Autoridade Publica Olimpica - APO, Enio de Carvalho and Special Advisor to the Casa Civil, Pedro Pontual.

National Secretary and CEO of the Autoridade Brasileira de Controle de Dopagem – ABCD, Marco Aurelio Klein in his opening remarks highlighted that  "Today we are making history, preparing to face in a systematic manner the enormous challenges in the Fight Against Doping in Sport. Many think that doping is a problem dealing with drugs.  I can assure you it`s much more than that. Doping is about ethics and values. With these training missions, we are empowering ourselves to combat the fraud that affects all those who love sport."

One of the four instructors from USADA that came to Brazil in this partnership, Regional Team Lead and Doping Control Official, Kris Forberg, said in his closing coments. "It`s an honor, a privilege to be here.  ABCD will have a very qualified group of agents. It was really a great training program."

The first step for the participants of the 1st and 2nd ABCD Training Program, who intend to work as DCOs and Chaperone Leaders, has already been taken. Now they are able to seek certification, as defined by ABCD policy, in accordance with the new World Anti-Doping Code, which will enter into force on January2015.   In addition to future testing missions assigned by the ABCD, the certified Doping Control Agents could be hired to participate in the Olympic and Paralympic Games of Rio2016.

Those who missed the opportunity to participate in the 1st and 2nd ABCD Training still have a chance to be a part of the ABCD Doping Control Officers and Chaperone Team.  Later this year the ABCD intends to conduct at least two more Training. The expectation is that by year end 2014, more than 250 Doping Control Agents (DCOs and Chaperones) will be trained.

Special Advisor to the Casa Civil, Pedro Pontual left an important message for the participants of the Program: "You are the founders of this process in Brazil. This is not a project for the moment. This represents a commitment of the State. It is a project that has permanence. We will rely on the commitment of everyone in the fight against doping."

Selection and methodology
Participants of the 1st and 2nd Training Programs were subjected to a thorough selection process which included a resume review, an assessment of their ethical character and in the case of DCO candidates; part of the interview was conducted in English.

The 1st Training Program for DCOs targeted physicians with expertise in sports medicine and other professionals in the health fields. Candidates were sought with  professional knowledge  and experiences associated with sport, coaching and teaching skills as well as a working knowledge of English. Knowledge of other languages was an asset.  During the interview, candidates were evaluated for their practical knowledge of the English language, which they were able to demonstrate by preparing a brief presentation on one of several texts selected by ABCD, dealing with the theoretical and practical aspects of anti-doping.

All content of the training was based on the International Standards for Testing and Investigations as elaborated by the World Anti-Doping Agency - WADA-AMA.

In addition to the opening presentation provided by National Secretary Marco Aurelio Klein on the worldwide fight against doping in sport, and with regard to Brazil in particular, the participants had both theoretical and practical training on the first and second days, as well as a written test.  On the third day the DCOs participated in field simulations under the supervision of the United States Anti-Doping Agency - USADA.

The 2nd Training Program was designed for professionals with experiences in Sport and had as its object the training of Chaperone Leaders, Doping Control Agents knowledgeable in the correct procedures of how  to notify and accompany athletes from the field through the doping control process. Just as the DCOs the Chaperone Leader candidates were also subject to a thorough selection process which included an analysis of their curriculum and ethical profile. During their training the students worked on theoretical and practical content in the classroom and were able to participate in case study simulations that had been developed and were being taught by the ABCD instructors.

"Both groups were very dedicated. It´s this spirit that we need to develop even more in Doping Control within Brazil.  ABCD looks forward to seeing all of you in the field, working together with us in the worldwide fight against doping in sport´´, Klein said at the closing ceremony for the program.

Check photo gallery of ABCD Doping Control Personnel Training Program

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