Phurpa Lhamo

The Cabinet has thwarted the Ministry of Education’s (MoE) proposal to establish an independent National Anti-Doping Organisation (NADO).

Instead, the Cabinet asked the ministry to review the proposal in a letter to the MoE on January 3.

“However, the Lhengye Zhungtshog directed your ministry in consultation with the Ministry of Health to review, design, and resubmit the proposal on establishment of NADO attached either with the Bhutan Narcotics Control Agency or the Department of Youth and Sports,” the letter stated.

According to Cabinet Secretary Sangay Duba, the proposal was in line with fulfilling international requirements for NADO to be autonomous and independent.

However, because that wasn’t feasible, the Cabinet recommended that NADO either be with the Department of Youth and Sports (DYS) with the MoE or with the Bhutan Narcotics Control Authority (BNCA).

Under the 2021 World Anti-Doping Code, one of the mandatory requirements for operational independence of the NADO was to be independent in their operational decisions and activities from sport and government, including without limitation by the prohibiting any involvement in their operational decisions or activities by any person who is at the same time involved in the management or operations of any International Federation, National Federation, Major Event Organizations, national Olympic Committee, National Paralympic Committee, or government department with responsibility for sport or anti-doping.

However, Sangay Duba said that as long as the functioning of the unit (NADO), set up under DYS or the BNCA, is given the independence to make decisions, there won’t be much of an issue. “Also, as of right now, we don’t have many issues with doping.”

The letter also recommends that the MoE design and resubmit the proposal for the establishment of the NADO.

Sangay Duba said that the recommendation meant having the ministry be specific about the workforce and other requirements for the institutionalisation of NADO.

The proposal for the establishment of NADO was sent to the cabinet secretary on December 9 of last year.