Dubai: The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has listed the building of a laboratory in the Gulf region in an attempt to better manage the use of drugs in the world of sport.
Heads of State from the Gulf region have accepted Qatar as the venue for a WADA-accredited laboratory and work has already started.
"What we are trying to do is to have one local laboratory for the region. It is a priority for the region and for us it makes a lot of sense. The proposal came from the Gulf states after a meeting of the heads of state at the GCC Summit and we are now waiting to see when the building will be ready and we will have a laboratory here soon," David Howman, WADA Director-General told Gulf News.
Until now, all testing used to be done at WADA-accredited laboratories in places including Malaysia, Tunisia or Turkey.
"So a laboratory in this region would benefit us all," Howman said.
But what would be even more important and beneficial for sport in the region, according to Howman, is to build on initiatives to educate youngsters.
"We need to consolidate and build on the Regional Anti-Doping Organisation (RADO) initiatives so that they will carry out more testing and push forward for more education in close association with the local authorities and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA)," Howman said.
The regional body was set up as recently as three years ago in an attempt to further educate youth in the Gulf.
"And we need to have continued cooperation from sportspeople here and from the government as well. We have very good partnerships with the government and we have a very good partnership with the OCA. What we would like to do now is to build on that so that we can become stronger," Howman said.