October 30, 2020

Cydonie addresses world’s top sports anti-doping body

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Mothersill-Stephens-talks-doping-on-world-stage-300x110As a member of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Athlete Committee, Cydonie Mothersill-Stephens addressed the world’s top sports and anti-doping officials at the 2013 World Conference on Doping in Sport on Wednesady 13th November.

The following is the transcript of her address:

Cydonie Mothersill – WADA Athlete Committee Member

My name is Cydonie Mothersill and I am from the Cayman Islands. It is a great honour to be here at the World Conference on Doping in Sport and most importantly to voice my perspective as a clean athlete.

My sport is athletics of which I am a sprinter. My dedication to my craft cannot be summed up in a few words but I will try….. track and field has provided me with a life that I could have only dreamt about. That life however cannot be without certain responsibilities such as being true to yourself, your sport, your country and your fans. My journey as a professional athlete has not been easy, and it has had its share of struggles but I am a firm believer that it is those struggles in life that brings out our best qualities.

Like many track and field athletes, I started my career running in regional events, and then went on to secure an athletic scholarship to attend university in the United States after which I pursued a professional career which set me on the path of many Olympic Games and World Championships.

This path has led me to participate in 5 Olympic Games which is not an easy feat in any sport. Going to the Olympic Games is probably the most unique experience I have had not just in my sporting career but in my life that is with the exception of the recent birth of my baby daughter. Being an Olympian brings many fond memories to mind, the sense of community we developed from living in the athlete village together, and the sense of accomplishment knowing you are one of the selected few. By the time I was at my fifth Olympics, I was well seasoned; I was now in a position to share my knowledge not just to my team mates but from other countries in the region.

As a role model, a role I take quite seriously I am bound to show the youths through my actions that hard work, dedication, self-discipline and plain honesty are still important qualities to attain. They build character and must not be pushed aside in the journey to achieve greatness.

The athletes that know me know that I am very opinionated and have a definite opinion about keeping track clean! I was fortunate throughout my career to have great support around me…strong ethics from my family were instilled in me from an early age and continue to play a vital role in my career. I was never tempted by doping as the consequences in my mind were too dire.

With that being said, I was personally affected by the doping issue when I was denied the rightful chance to stand on the podium to receive my bronze medal at the 2001 World Championships in athletics.

It’s a bitter sweet memory, because even though I did receive the medal years later at home surrounded by family and friends, the benefits of receiving that medal on that day will never be known. I missed a true podium experience and it is something I can never get back.

I joined WADA’s Athlete Committee three years ago. It has been such a great opportunity not only to share my insight about my sport, which has been known to have a doping problem, but to also to share the perspective of coming from a country of less than 60,000 people. I believe that education and information is an essential element in cleaning up sport. It is not only important for athletes to know their rights and responsibilities, but it is equally important that coaches, managers and agents are aware. The fact that with the implementation of the 2015 Code they can also be held accountable, I believe it is an important step in keeping sport clean.

In closing, I love my sport and want it to have a better image, and for it to have longevity. There is a fine line that exists in speaking out against doping but If I can play a part in changing people’s concept, then I am pleased. My hope is that one day the playing field will be level.

Thank you.

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