Sports Minister says coaches should be tested for drugs

By Caribbean Medical News Staff

Barbados Sports Minister has said that athletic coaches need to be tested for drugs as part of the Ministry’s “zero-tolerance” for the use of tobacco and illegal substances in sports.

“It was important for those of us who have the opportunity to reach people, especially the youth, whether it is through sports, mentorship or other activity, that we set good examples… reach out to our youth, teach them to adopt good value systems, healthy lifestyles and engage them in meaningful activity,” he said.

In a recent address at a Sports and Drugs Seminar in Barbados, Minister Stephen Lashley said that coaches need to lead by example and “don’t do drugs”.

Lashley said that that sports and creative activities from dance to the arts and sports were “positive tools that could be used to divert young people from using illegal drugs”.

He indicated that while many countries had decriminalised marijuana, he remained hopeful that Barbados would not be a part of this new movement.

Coaches should also be tested for drug use and those found to be abusing should not be coaching,” Lashley said.

He said that this testing should also be done on those who have been found guilty of using marijuana previously.

“In my view to allow coaches who use drugs to coach would not only be a betrayal of everything that we have been teaching our youth, but it would have devastating consequences as a whole,” he said.

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