“It’s our biggest representation ever at one of these games. The demands on our staff are enormous and actual competition is still to begin!”
Dr Terry Ali, one of three doctors assigned to the Commonwealth Games, said he and other members of this country’s medical and therapeutic staff have had their hands full even before Wednesday’s start to the Commonwealth Games.
Along with Dr Ali, assisting T&T’s 129-athlete contingent in Glasgow, Scotland are doctors Anil Gopiesingh and Zynul Khan. Three physiotherapists and six massage therapists are also part of the team, which have felt their share of responsibility for the team’s preparations particularly last Saturday where they worked without a break from early morning to midnight.
News coming out of the camp is that T&T has been fortunate having no current major injury or illness scares.
A mini outbreak of flu-like symptoms that have affected around 12 Scottish Commonwealth Games assistants have not affected any member of the T&T contingent.
There have also been no positive drug tests within the T&T camp. Officials of the Commonwealth Games have adopted a rigorous approach to random drug testing on a round-the-clock bases.
They often come as an inconvenience to the athletes and management, according to chef-de-mission Ian Hypolite, who gave insight into the processes of drug testing. “It has annoyed a few people, but we must realise that this is now a serious business. Our contingent is party to a ‘whereabouts policy’, which means that our athletes must be at a certain location at a given time for possible drug testing. If they are not, they are searched out and tested wherever they are.”
Athletes may also be selected at random in the dining areas or at training, apart from the usual practice of post-competition testing.