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They are targeting us' (drug-testing)(Understanding what will make Jamaica WADA compliant) Options
Posted: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 4:33:05 AM

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- Coach stands up for Jamaica's anti-doping programme
Published: Tuesday | October 8, 2013 0 Comments

André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter

Top Jamaican track and field coach Glen Mills, while admitting that there is room for improvement in Jamaica's anti-doping efforts, blasted sections of the international community for what he believes to be unfair targeting of the island.

Mills was just as critical towards the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), which he blames for not doing enough to defend the image of the island, and the Jamaican Government, which he believes has dragged its feet in the anti-doping efforts.

Jamaica's anti-doping programme has been the topic of much debate and criticism, particularly following a damning report written by former Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) Executive Director Renée Anne Shirley, who, among other things, accused the local powers of not being serious enough about anti-doping.

This came on the back of six Jamaicans, including star athletes Veronica Campbell-Brown, Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson, testing positive for banned substances.

"The Government is lagging behind; whether it is a financial reason or whatever, but they need to do a lot more. They could even set up what I would call a helpline where an athlete can call in and ask about a medication and receive advice if there is any danger or get it tested," Mills advised. "It doesn't have to be a JADCO thing; this can come under the Ministry of Health, for instance."

"I also feel that the JAAA has not done a good job in managing the whole thing and defending Jamaica's image. Too often they have been silent and dormant, as if they are afraid to come out and defend Jamaica's image."

However, while calling for more action from certain quarters, Mills, who conditions sprint stars Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and Warren Weir, is standing up for the island and its anti-doping efforts.

"They target Jamaica because of its success. There is no doubt about it ... ," Mills told The Gleaner in an exclusive interview. "The Jamaican anti-doping programme is, by comparison, fairly new. Most countries performing at our level have been well advanced in their anti-doping programmes in terms of years of experience and expertise."

JADCO was formally established in 2008 after the passage of the Anti-Doping in Sport Act.


"I believe that the criticism is somewhat harsh in that based on the fact that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) came here and did an evaluation of the programme and gave it a thumbs up, and that was as early as last year, I am a bit surprised that Jamaica, a couple months later, is being seen as a country that is not developing or enforcing a good anti-doping programme," Mills added.

"Why? Nobody wants to see Jamaica continue its dominance of sprinting at the world level. And the international media - again, one has to question the balance of their reporting. I have read some terrible articles written about Jamaica. I have read some terrible articles trying to insinuate that Usain Bolt's success is false because of all of this," added Mills, who compared Jamaica's anti-doing record against that of other countries.

"We have had some adverse analytical findings for stimulants and those other things, but there are so many cases of steroid use in other countries in the past couple of months, yet there is no sensationalising around those countries or athletes. Yet everyone is banging on the Jamaicans because of our success, and the truth of the matter is that our success has come through hard work, excellent coaches, and making the best use of our facilities that are below world-class standards," Mills declared.

More than 16 Jamaicans have tested positive for banned substances since 2008.
Posted: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 4:56:09 AM

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World doping agency to probe Jamaica

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

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AP Sports Columnist

A year after Usain Bolt made history at the London Olympics and declared himself "a living legend", a bombshell dropped largely unnoticed after a former director of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission alleged the island didn't drug-test its athletes for entire months before they dazzled at the Summer Games.

Statistics compiled by former JADCO Executive Director Renee Anne Shirley indicated a near-complete breakdown in the agency's out-of-competition testing from January 2012 to the July opening of the Olympics.

In an interview with The Associated Press, JADCO chairman Herbert Elliott dismissed Shirley's figures as lies and described her as "a bit demented" and "a Judas".

But the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) confirmed to AP that there was, as Shirley asserted, "a significant gap of no testing" by JADCO as athletes trained for London -- and that it would launch an "extraordinary" audit of the Jamaican agency.

What's more, International Olympic Committee (IOC) medical chiefs, WADA and Britain's anti-doping agency, which also worked on London's massive drug-testing programme, told the AP that they were kept in the dark about Jamaican testing lapses that Shirley exposed in her August letter.

"There was a period of ... maybe five to six months during the beginning part of 2012 where there was no effective operation," WADA Director General David Howman said in an interview. "No testing. There might have been one or two, but there was no testing. So we were worried about it, obviously."

Jamaican stars didn't go completely untested before London. Track and field's governing body, the IAAF, says it extensively tested elite Jamaicans, including Bolt more than 12 times last year. History's fastest human has never failed a drug test.

Jamaica won eight of 12 individual sprint medals in London. Bolt became the first man to win both the 100 and 200 metres at consecutive games and anchored Jamaica's relay victory in world-record time.

It isn't possible to judge with any certainty whether the gaps in Jamaica's testing opened a door to cheating, particularly because other agencies refuse to say how many tests were conducted on the Jamaicans in 2012.

The revelations by Shirley, however, were alarming enough to prompt action. While WADA has audited Jamaica's testing regime before, Howman said its new action is a direct response to the problems Shirley exposed and to positive doping tests this year for five athletes who competed for Jamaica in London. They include former world 100m record holder Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson, an Olympic 4x100-relay gold and silver medallist.

"It's an extraordinary visit," Howman said. Jamaica is "a high priority. ... They're on our radar."

WADA is unhappy Jamaica hasn't agreed to a swift inspection. Elliott said JADCO couldn't accommodate the auditors when WADA wanted and isn't expecting the visit before the end of the year.

Shirley said JADCO conducted 96 tests in competition in 2012 before the Olympics, all in May and June at an invitational meet and the national trials. But away from the competitive events, there was no Jamaican testing for five of the seven months before the London Games, she said.

After 10 tests in February and one in April, JADCO's out-of-competition programme stopped, according to Shirley's figures. She later gave the same figures to Sports Illustrated, where they generated more attention than her letter to The Gleaner.

"It irritated me as a Jamaican: one test out of competition, for what, five months or four months?" Shirley said in a telephone interview. "Given that it was an Olympic year, I felt that more could have been done."

IOC medical commission Chairman Arne Ljungqvist and Patrick Schamasch, who retired as IOC medical director after London, said they weren't told of the testing gap. They said they could have ordered additional tests on Jamaica's team had they known.

"For certain, we weren't informed of anything about Jamaica," Schamasch said. "Had we been told that JADCO wasn't able to test beforehand, we possibly could have readjusted our aim a little bit."

Ljungqvist said: "Jamaica is far from being alone, you know? We know that out-of-competition testing in the proper way is not being conducted unfortunately in many parts of the world. One shouldn't single out Jamaica."

But Jamaica isn't just any country. Led by Bolt, it dethroned the US as the dominant sprinting power at the last two Olympics.

"It's almost abnormal, OK? Let's face it. For a country of less than 3 million people," Shirley said. "What, you're saying there's something peculiar in the water in Jamaica?"

Howman told the AP that WADA learned only after London -- from Shirley -- of the testing voids. Although JADCO was under no obligation to inform anyone earlier, "you'd expect it," he said.

"We had no knowledge of anything that was down there until we heard from her."

Elliott, the JADCO chairman, bristles at the mention of Shirley's name.

"Ms Shirley has done this country and herself a great deal of harm by saying things that are not totally in keeping with the truth," he said in a phone interview.

JADCO's and Shirley's overall testing figures for 2012 actually agree. Both say JADCO did a total of 179 tests -- 108 in competition and 71 out of competition. But Shirley gave month-by-month figures, and JADCO didn't.

Pressed by AP, Elliott said: "Maybe I'll have the figures tomorrow."

But 24 hours later, Elliott didn't answer repeated calls or respond to a text message. Without those figures, AP could not verify his assertion that Shirley's statistics were wrong.

"Not all of them are lies. I mean, you know, she has exaggerated," he said.

Shirley's breakdown showed the bulk of out-of-competition tests -- 60 of the 71 -- were done only after London -- after she took over at JADCO in July 2012. In Sports Illustrated, she described finding the agency woefully understaffed.

Elliott told AP "there was no money in the coffers" when he became JADCO chairman in February 2012, and 400 of its test kits were outdated and unusable. He said JADCO borrowed kits from other Caribbean nations and from "people in Florida whom we know".

The main obstacle to out-of-competition testing, he said, was that "most of our athletes were off the island. We had them overseas preparing for the Olympics".

"Therefore we asked IAAF ... to test them overseas out of competition. All right? And they did," he said.

He also said: "We've done tests WADA doesn't know about." He didn't provide details.

Shirley said she left JADCO in February because "the board and I did not get along, and there were other problems in the system. It overwhelmed me".

Elliott said she was fired but refused to say why. "She has her axe to grind," he said.

The IAAF's out-of-competition testing for Jamaica concentrated on athletes' training camps and "was robust and comprehensive," spokesman Chris Turner said.

Elliott said testers descended "in droves every day" on Jamaica's pre-Olympic track-and-field camp in Birmingham, England, in the weeks before the games.

"Some of our athletes were raising hell that they were tested every day, and not only with urine, but blood," he said. "I don't think they could have done more testing. They were testing every athlete in our camp, sometimes twice a day."

Shirley also acknowledges other agencies policed the Jamaicans.

"I'm pretty sure that all of the athletes who went to London were tested at least once and the majority of them more than once," she told the AP.

On Bolt, she added: "I am positive that he got tested in double figures" in 2012.

But the exact extent of testing on Bolt and his teammates is tightly guarded. Bolt's agent, Ricky Simms, told AP "he's tested almost every week," but the public has no way of verifying that.

The IOC tested the top five finishers after each event in London. That means Bolt and teammates Yohan Blake (100 and 200 silver; relay gold), Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (women's 100 gold; 200 and relay silver), and Veronica Campbell-Brown (100 bronze; relay silver; 4th in 200) must have been tested multiple times.

The IOC refuses to give specific testing numbers for the Jamaicans. Bolt and Simms say they don't tally up his tests. "I don't even know where we'd go to find that information," Simms said.

Bolt, asked by the AP at his last race this year how frequently he is tested, said: "Sometimes they will come like six times in one month and then you won't see them for two months and then they come three times in one week. So I don't really keep track."

Fraser-Pryce said she was tested "more than 18" times this year. She offered to let AP see the receipts that she, like all tested athletes, gets when giving samples, but her manager, Adrian Laidlaw, refused.

After Shirley exposed JADCO's shortcomings, Howman wrote to the Jamaican government and said he got an invitation to send experts.

The team will check whether JADCO complies with WADA's anti-doping rules, as well as whom the agency is testing and how, and "that what they're doing is of significant quality," Howman said.

Elliott expects WADA's team to visit at the end of 2013 or the beginning of 2014.

"The last time they were here, they claimed everything was OK," he said. "So I don't see how they're going to say anything is different this time."

Read more: jamaicaobserver.com/sport/World-doping-agency-to-probe-Jamaica
Posted: Friday, October 18, 2013 7:28:59 AM

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JAAA pushes back as pressure mounts on Jamaica’s drug testing programme

8:28 pm, Thu October 17, 2013
Dr.Warren Blake

Local track and field governing body the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) is pushing back as the international pressure continues to mount regarding the perceived inadequacies of Jamaica's drug testing programme.

Monday's revelation that WADA's proposed visit to Jamaica in October to carry out an audit of JADCO was delayed until January 2014 has also drawn criticism as to whether Jamaica has something to hide.

But armed with drug testing figures from the IAAF, president of the JAAA, Dr. Warren Blake said the nation's athletes are routinely tested even without JADCO.

As it relates to WADA's audit of JADCO, Dr. Blake re-affirmed that the government had invited the global drug testing agency to Jamaica long before the revelations of former executive director, Rene Ann Shirley.
Posted: Sunday, October 20, 2013 8:43:35 AM

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PAINFUL' - Mills hurt by negative effect of doping on Jamaica

Published: Sunday | October 20, 2013 1 Comment

André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter

Glen Mills is not bothered by much. But the celebrated Jamaican track coach admitted that it upsets him when people accuse the island's athletes such as his own charge, Usain Bolt, of cheating and question the legitimacy of their performances.

Jamaica's drug testing programme has been under the microscope, particularly since former Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) executive director, Renee Anne Shirley, revealed that the local agency did not conduct a single drug test on Jamaica's athletes in the five months leading into the London Olympics.

She later claimed that JADCO has never done a blood test and questioned its ability to properly prepare for cases against athletes who violate the anti-doping laws.

However, Mills, who recently accused the international community of unfairly targeting Jamaica, told The Sunday Gleaner that he is deeply troubled by generalised suggestions that Jamaicans are competing without being tested or that they are cheats.

"It is not fair to create the impression that because JADCO was not testing them (Jamaican athletes) that they were not being tested and certainly in the case of Usain (Bolt), everywhere he travels, they test him and I am talking even out of competition," said Mills.

Bolt, the world record holder, Olympic and world champion over 100m and 200m, was tested 12 times last year by international testers.

Additionally, the sport's governing body, the IAAF, recently revealed that Jamaica is among the most tested nations, with 126 tests carried out on Jamaican athletes in 2012.

"It upsets me more so about the effect it (negative impressions) has on Jamaica because I am a Jamaican and I am proud to be a Jamaican. I am a proud Jamaican coach, I am proud that I can prepare people to go on the biggest stage and represent their country and themselves honestly and in distinction and to see people attempt to smear that, it really does have a painful effect on me," said Mill, the president and head coach at the University of West Indies-based Racers Track Club, which also features the likes of Yohan Blake and Warren Weir.

"When I listen to and read the words of a convicted felon who masterminded such a system and the media - even here, is giving exposure and credibility to such rubbish, I wonder what is the objective," Mills added, in reference to former BALCO Labs head, Victor Conte, who has been very critical of Jamaica's drug-testing programme.

"They could not develop people's talent's naturally and had to resort to dishonest means, but seeing it being done obviously creates a lot of jealousy and guilt that they are using to try and smear Jamaica's name," Mills further added.

"The majority of the test that have unfortunately returned adverse findings, the sample taking has been done here in Jamaica by JADCO and it's unfortunate to have any adverse finding. But the truth of the matter is that they have been taken here in Jamaica and the integrity of the process can stand the acid test.

"JADCO's inadequacy, which was the subject of an interview from the former director, to me was most regrettable because if there is a problem of that magnitude, one would have hoped that the first approach would be a local campaign to inform the stakeholders and so on of the current difficulties," Mills added, turning his attention to Shirley.

"What is factual is that JADCO, despite its need for greater resources, has been making a significant effort to do a good job. They certainly need more resources, but the truth of the matter is that they have been making an effort to do a good job.

"I can't say that for many countries at our level or above our level because there have been so many evidence of cover-ups by their agencies, it's a disgrace and as far as I know, JADCO, from its inception, can never be accused of any such action."

Jamaica Gleaner
Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 9:54:57 AM

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Jamaica risks Olympic ban in row over drug-testing inquiry

Tuesday, October 22, 2013 | 6:51 AM

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The following article is reprinted by the ONLINE OBSERVER with the permission of the Daily Telegraph

Jamaica was on the brink of being cast into the international wilderness last night after the World Anti-Doping Agency vowed to take action that could mean the island is deemed non-compliant with its drug-testing responsibilities.

In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, Wada president John Fahey delivered a withering rebuke to Jamaica over its “farcical” attempts to defer an extraordinary audit of its anti-doping programme until the New Year.

Wada director general David Howman had planned to lead a commission to Jamaica after being invited by the island’s prime minister to investigate revelations from the former executive director of the Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission that it conducted no drug tests in the five months leading up to last year’s Olympics.

Jadco’s refusal to accommodate the commission during the remainder of 2013 infuriated Fahey, who last night promised an “appropriate” response, with non-compliance with the Wada Code the ultimate sanction.

That could have dire consequences for Jamaica's world-class athletes including Usain Bolt and company, who may be barred from competing at athletics’ biggest events – including the Olympics – until the row is resolved, notwithstanding that there is no evidence of any individual wrongdoing by Bolt and his team-mates.

Branding Jadco’s position “farcical”, Fahey said: “The current position is unacceptable to Wada and we’re not going to take it lying down, their suggestion that they’ll talk to us next year.

“To suggest to Wada they’re not ready to meet with us to talk about their problem until sometime next year is unsatisfactory, it’s totally unacceptable to me and we shall act appropriately within an appropriate time frame.”

Pressed over whether Jamaica would be declared non-compliant, Fahey added: “There are a number of options. You can read into that exactly what those words are likely to mean but I don’t want to flag it up.”

The former head of Jadco, Renee Anne Shirley, blew the whistle on Jamaica’s lack of drug testing two months ago, having quit in protest earlier this year. She spoke out after five Jamaicans who competed at London 2012 produced adverse findings, including former 100 metres record holder Asafa Powell, who denied knowingly taking performance-enhancing drugs.

Following Shirley’s revelations, Howman warned Jamaica risked expulsion from the Olympics and World Championships by the International Olympic Committee and International Association of Athletics Federations if it failed to address her concerns.

Jadco responded by claiming its drug-testing procedures were in keeping with “international standards”, while chairman Herb Elliott branded Shirley a “Judas” and a “bit demented”.

He added of Wada’s proposed audit: “The last time they were here, they claimed everything was OK. So I don’t see how they’re going to say anything is different this time.”

Meanwhile, Fahey cast doubt on whether Lance Armstrong could be persuaded to come clean over precisely what he knows about the culture of doping in cycling while he was competing.

Fahey welcomed new International Cycling Union president Brian Cookson’s attempts to build bridges with Wada and establish a fully independent investigation into who knew what during the Armstrong era, the remit for which is under discussion.

Cookson has extended a public invitation for disgraced Tour de France winner Armstrong to give evidence to any inquiry and has suggested he would be in favour of a reduction in the 42-year-old’s life ban in exchange for full disclosure.

Fahey said: “Lance Armstrong’s had many opportunities to indicate to the world his remorse for his totally unsatisfactory behaviour, his bullying, his lying and his cheating.

“He’s had many opportunities to redeem himself since this matter came to a head a year ago. I believe there is a need for an inquiry to give a chance for anybody who wants to contribute. If Lance Armstrong’s a party to that, he’s welcome. But I won’t hold my breath.”

The Wada code allows for sentence reduction in exchange for ‘significant assistance’ in other doping investigations, the necessary degree of which would be determined by the United States Anti-Doping Agency in Armstrong’s case.

Fahey said: “If he was able to make a case for ‘significant assistance’, and that means making a lot of information available, then maybe he could convince Usada to open up his case to deal with the sanctions.

“There’s no pardon available in that sport or any other sport under the current code, whether it’s Lance Armstrong or whoever in the world of sport.”

Ben Rumsby

Read more: jamaicaobserver.com/news/Jamaica-risks-Olympic-ban-in-row-over-drug-testing-inquiry
Posted: Monday, November 4, 2013 11:40:48 AM

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Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission compliant, says minister after WADA audit

Published: Wednesday October 30, 2013 | 1:35 pm 34 Comments

"The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCo) is not non-compliant!"

Those words came from Minister Natalie Neita Headley who this morning briefed members of the media on the just concluded audit that was conducted over the past two days by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Speaking at a briefing at the offices of JADCo on South Odean Avenue in Kingston, the minister said she had very cordial discussions with the team from WADA and they will be working very closely with the local anti-doping agency to ensure that it not only remains compliant but becomes one of the best in the world.

She said the commission would be working to become more transparent in its operations by providing timely information to public via the media.

The minister revealed that JADco's budget will be increased by approximately 14 per cent through injections from the Chase Fund, IAAF and WADA.

The beleaguered commission, she says, has also filled five of nine key positions with the additional four to be filled within the next two months.

The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission has been under fire recently following a damaging exposé penned by former Executive Director Ann Shirley and which was published by the world renowned Sports Illustrated in mid-August, shortly after Jamaica won six gold medals at the World Athletic Championships in Moscow and a month after five Jamaican athletes including former world record holder Asafa Powell and Olympic silver medallist Sherone Simpson failed drug tests at the national championships held in June.

It was Shirley's exposé that helped trigger the WADA visit to Jamaica.

The WADA team that arrived on Monday departed today.
Posted: Monday, November 11, 2013 3:29:33 PM

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Doping scandal just the tip of the iceburg" - Dr. Paul Wright

3:09 pm, Mon November 11, 2013

Dr. Paul Wright

Dr. Paul Wright, senior drug tester, thinks the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) visit to the island last week was insufficient.

Wright told BBC Sport that multiple doping cases discovered recently may also be the “tip of the iceberg”.

Wright, who is a doping control officer with the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) with 30 years’ experience, told the BBC that in regards to the international standards required for testing Jamaica has failed miserably.

The WADA team arrived in Jamaica on Monday and left the island on Wednesday to conduct an ‘extraordinary audit’ of the country’s drug testing programme. Wright believes this visit was significantly insufficient and should have lasted at least a week.

"I have a personal problem in what you can do in 12 hours," he said. "They really came late Monday evening and left first flight Wednesday morning. So they were only really here on Tuesday. And four hours of that was at a dinner function with the Prime Minister.

"It's not enough. Remember it was explained as an extraordinary audit. I would have loved them to have been here for a week, to have got answers to every question, to be able to question people who knew what was happening”, Wright remarked.

Wright’s comments may be viewed as in conjunction with recent statements made by former JADCO executive, Renee Anne Shirley to Sports Illustrated, after former 100m world record holder and Olympic relay gold medallist, Asafa Powell and former clubmate Sherone Simpson failed drug test at the country’s national trials in June of this year.

Mike Fennell, President of the Jamaican Olympic Association, says Dr Paul Wright is "being dramatic”.

"I think that's massively overstating it," Fennell said. "There's no evidence to suggest that it's the tip of the iceberg."

WADA will discuss their visit to Jamaica at a conference in Johannesburg starting on Tuesday.

Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 10:58:06 AM

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Ja dropped ball — WADA

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AFP) — Jamaica blundered in catching doping athletes, the world doping police body said yesterday, after high-profile athletes like former 100-metre sprint champion Asafa Powell tested positive for banned substances earlier this year.

"It's quite clear the Caribbean island's current testing is not enough", said World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president John Fahey.

"We've given them significant assistance in the past. They dropped the ball."

Seven Jamaican athletes, including Powell and two-time 200-metre Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown, tested positive this year.

The WADA board will receive a report on Friday after a team visited the country in October.

"That report... contains key recommendations. They deal with governance, they deal with operations," Fahey told a news conference at the World Conference on Doping in Sport in Johannesburg.

"We have asked the minister of sport of Jamaica to send comments by the end of this week, as well as the president of the Jamaican anti-doping commission."

One of the recommendations was for the island to partner with another country to get its doping agencies up to scratch, said Fahey.

"We have encouraged them to enter into an international partnership. We've found that's been very effective in other areas in anti-doping."

He declined to elaborate on other recommendations.

But Fahey acknowledged "there's a recognition in Jamaica that they have to do a whole lot better and that they have to beef up their skills set".

World sports leaders meet over four days at the fourth anti-doping conference to decide the future of the battle against the use of banned substances.

The conference will ratify new, more stringent anti-doping rules and also fine-tune testing according to different sporting codes.

Read more: jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Ja-dropped-ball---WADA_15427185#ixzz2kXgPs15S
Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 7:46:37 PM

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Jamaica doping scandals tip of iceberg, says senior drug tester

By David Bond BBC sports editor

Jamaica's most senior drug tester says the country's recent rash of failed tests might be the "tip of an iceberg".

Dr Paul Wright told the BBC that the Caribbean island's anti-doping regime had been woefully short of the international standards required.

His comments come a week after the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) visited Jamaica to investigate claims that the country's athletes were not being tested rigorously enough.
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Jamaican dope testing criticised by top official

Former Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission (Jadco) executive director Renee Anne Shirley sparked the crisis when she said the agency conducted just one out-of-competition test in the six months leading up to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Her criticisms, made in an article in Sports Illustrated, followed a series of adverse findings involving Jamaican track and field athletes.

Asafa Powell, the former 100m world record holder, was the biggest name to test positive, but four others, including Powell's training partner Sherone Simpson, the Olympic relay gold medallist, also failed tests at the country's national trials in June.

Both Powell and Simpson claim they took supplements that might have been contaminated with the banned stimulant Oxilofrine.

Wada officials are due to discuss their visit to Jamaica at an executive board meeting in Johannesburg on Tuesday and could make a series of recommendations to improve the country's anti-doping policies.

But Dr Wright, a senior doping control officer with Jadco who has 30 years of experience of drug testing in sport, is concerned Wada's intervention will not lead to the sweeping changes required to give the world confidence in Jamaican sport.
Drug testing in Jamaica
Jamaican Minister for Sport Natalie Neita Headley

After the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) visit, Jamaica's Minister for Sport Natalie Neita Headley vowed she would increase the current annual budget for testing of just over £380,000
Extra money will be used to hire more senior executives to run the anti-doping programme and to hire and train additional testers
Number of tests conducted by Jadco will be raised from 300 this year to 400 in 2014

He also said the sudden surge of athletes failing tests at the country's national trials in June had left him fearing the worst.

"The results are not good," he told the BBC.

"Remember, all of these results except one were caught by Jadco. The problem is these people were tested positive in competition. That means, months before, you know the date of the test and the approximate time of the test.

"So, if you fail an in-competition test, you haven't only failed a drugs test, you have failed an IQ test.

"This could be the tip of the iceberg to have so many positives coming in competition.

"What is going to convince me is if there is an out-of-competition test that's unannounced, that includes blood testing and which tests for EPO. Then we can hold up our heads high and say we know there's nothing."

But the head of the Jamaican Olympic Association, Mike Fennell, dismissed Dr Wright's concerns, saying he was "being dramatic".

"I think that's massively overstating it," Fennell said. "There's no evidence to suggest that it's the tip of the iceberg."

Although Dr Wright met with Wada officials during their visit, he was critical, saying they did not spend enough time on the ground in Jamaica.
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Double Olympic champion Usain Bolt

Bolt vows to restore athletics faith

"I have a personal problem in what you can do in 12 hours," he said. "They really came late Monday evening and left first flight Wednesday morning. So they were only really here on Tuesday. And four hours of that was at a dinner function with the Prime Minister.

"It's not enough. Remember, it was explained as an extraordinary audit. I would have loved them to have been here for a week, to have got answers to every question, to be able to question people who knew what was happening.

"Their intervention has led to the promise of change. If the promises are kept, then we will get there."

Following Wada's visit, the Jamaican Minister for Sport, Natalie Neita Headley, vowed to pump more money in to testing to boost the current annual budget of just over £380,000.

That funding - with the help of additional money from Wada - would be used to hire more senior executives to run the anti-doping programme and to hire and train additional drug testers.

Headley told the BBC she was currently hiring two extra drug testers, taking the total number of doping control officers to six.

She also vowed to increase the number of tests conducted by Jadco, from 300 this year to 400 in 2014, and said the commission was ready to start blood testing its athletes.

She also said claims that Jamaica's top athletes had not been tested enough were wrong, pointing to figures released by the IAAF, the body that governs world athletics.
Jadco criticised

Jadco was recently criticised for not routinely providing annual drug-testing statistics
According to the US Anti-Doping Agency website there were 2,279 tests performed on US track and field athletes in 2012. Jadco, meanwhile, performed 106 tests, of which 68 were out of competition
Jadco has so far carried out 286 tests in 2013 - both in and out of competition. These are in addition to the tests conducted by the IAAF on a pool of 19 elite Jamaican athletes which have taken place in competitions around the world but mainly in Europe and out of competition in the run-up to the World Championships

"Our athletes, as confirmed by the IAAF, were the most tested in the world of athletics, so to say your athletes weren't tested is not exactly true," she said.

"I would recognise that the events of the last couple of months would have harmed us tremendously. I recognise that.

"I also recognise that what is important is that the country puts all of what is needed in place to beef up a system, bolster your system that where there might be weaknesses you strengthen, where there might be any difficulties that you remove those difficulties.

"Though we are experiencing turbulent economic times, the budget of Jadco was increased this year unlike many other areas."

Jadco has so far carried out 286 tests in 2013, both in and out of competition. These are in addition to the tests conducted by the IAAF on a pool of 19 elite Jamaican athletes.

These tests have taken place in competitions around the world but mainly in Europe and out of competition in the run-up to the Moscow World Championships in August.

Sports officials in Jamaica insist that, while their own testing regime needs to improve, there are no reasons to doubt the performances of top stars like triple Olympic champions Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Price.

Jamaican Olympic chief Fennell said he believed some of the positive tests had been caused by contaminated food supplements.

"There is a problem worldwide with the use of supplements," said Fennell. "The whole world is induced to use supplements for one thing or another.

"Athletes are no different. This is not with a view to cheating and I would put my head on the block and say our athletes do not set out to cheat.
Drug testing in athletics

International federations such as the Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission (Jadco) are responsible for the testing of their athletes at domestic competitions
They are also expected to deliver out-of-competition testing
Governing body the IAAF also performs its own out-of-competition testing
The International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee test during the Olympic and Paralympic Games respectively

"We do have rigorous testing. If you look at the record for this year, you will see our testing record is amazing. Those of our top athletes are on the registered international programmes.

"More can be done and you tell me what country in the world where more cannot be done. A country like Jamaica has economic problems and we are doing extremely well with the resources we have, but there's always room for more and we have to make sure we are up to speed."

One of Jamaica's leading sprinters, Nesta Carter, said athletes understood that the events of the last few months had put him and his team-mates in the spotlight.

"I understand why people pay more attention to Jamaica," said Carter, who won an individual bronze medal in the 100m in Moscow in August to add to his sprint relay gold from the London Olympics.

"It was the same when the US dominated. People said they were on drugs and should be tested. That's a part of the sport and we have to accept that. It's going to hurt fans and athletes because no-one wants to be associated with what's going on.

"It's kind of hard to see your fellow mates and people keep pointing the fingers at them and saying they are on drugs when they are not - so you just have to stay clean and do the right thing."
Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2013 7:09:55 AM

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Published: Thursday | November 14, 2013 1 Comment


United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is willing to help Jamaica's troubled anti-doping authority through its problems, chief executive Travis Tygart said yesterday, because the Caribbean island's star athletes "deserve better".

Tygart said the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) "reached out" to the USADA soon after an inspection visit to Jamaica late last month by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The three bodies have had further discussions at the World Conference on Doping in Sport in South Africa this week over a USADA-JADCO partnership.

"They need to get help," Tygart told The Associated Press.

WADA President John Fahey has also said JADCO would benefit from being partnered with another anti-doping authority.

The WADA audit of Jamaica's anti-doping processes came after it was revealed there was a near complete breakdown of its out-of-competition testing in the run-up to last year's London Olympics. Eight Jamaican athletes have failed drug tests this year, including former world 100-metre record holder Asafa Powell, putting the country's world-beating sprinters under even more scrutiny.

"We want to see the WADA code implemented, and their athletes deserve better," Tygart said. "Right now, they're being let down by their national doping (commission)."

He said the island's near-complete absence of out-of-competition testing in the first six months of 2012 was "unacceptable".

Tygart added USADA was "ready and willing" to help and already has aided their Jamaican counterparts by sending a team there in 2009 and hosting some Jamaican officials at the USADA offices in the United States. But the USADA head warned that it would only work with JADCO if there was a "concerted effort" by JADCO to improve its anti-doping efforts.

WADA will examine the report on its two-day inspection visit to Jamaica on the last day of this week's conference, tomorrow, after giving JADCO and Jamaica's sports minister, Natalie Neita-Headley, a chance to review its recommendations and give any feedback.

WADA Director General David Howman met with Neita-Headley in Johannesburg on Tuesday about the audit report and said she had agreed to make the improvements WADA has asked for to get JADCO back on track.

"We are working very closely together now to implement them (the recommendations) and I am very confident that the programme in Jamaica, which suffered a little bit in the past, will return to its robust state," Howman said. "The issues have certainly been aired and clarified in the best possible way with the minister."
Posted: Saturday, November 16, 2013 10:05:41 AM

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'You must defend us'

Published: Saturday | November 16, 2013 0 Comments
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter

MONTE CARLO, Monaco:Jamaican sprint queen, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, says she is hurt by the recent criticism of Jamaica's anti-doping efforts and believes that local authorities need to do a lot more to defend and show that they actually care about the athletes that represent the country.

This is a big reason behind her efforts to rally the island's athletes to form a union, which she hopes will provide a unified voice and help to lobby for greater educational, financial and social support for upcoming athletes.

Fraser-Pryce, speaking yesterday to journalists during the build-up to today's IAAF Gala and Awards Ceremony, where she is nominated for the World Female Athlete of the Year Award, as reported yesterday by jamaica-gleaner.com, has also stated that she is prepared to refuse to run in order to bring greater attention to the issues that she believes have been ignored by Jamaican track and field officials.

"I am hurt, to some extent, but what can I do? I am not in charge of that area but as athletes, we wonder why when the international media and others make judgement statements about Jamaica, why isn't our federation coming out and speaking up for us?" Fraser-Pryce asked.


"You read articles and listen to persons make accusations and say all kinds of stuff about Jamaica and its athletes and there is no one there to get up, take a microphone and say, 'What you are saying is a lie,'" the Olympic and World champion added. "You have the information and the stats defend us - that's what you are there for. A lot of things that are said in the media are not true, but there is no one in our federation, or whatever, challenging it.

"They are just sitting back enjoying the benefits and the fruits of our labour, but when it's time to actually do their jobs, they are not doing it," Fraser-Pryce blasted.

The athlete believes that administrators need to take greater care of the development of the country's athletes and provide better infrastructure and general aid.

"We have issues with our young athletes who are getting involved with doping issues and nobody is there to speak on behalf of the athletes, nobody is there to give guidance and support, so I decided that this year that (athletes' union) is something that we will be embarking on," said Fraser-Pryce.

"Somewhere where athletes can have a voice, can have refuge, where we can make a stand for a change."

"Our young professional athletes need to be educated because they feel that once they are not taking a needle and sticking it into themselves, that it's okay. They think it's just okay to ... take any multi-vitamin or supplement and it will be okay, and that's not the case because with multi-vitamins and supplements, it's a minefield!

"There is no one in Jamaica looking to dope up intentionally to run fast. What's happening is athletes are not checking the supplements that they use - no one is intentionally cheating."


The 26-year-old also threatened to refuse to run if the situation did not change, and said she believed that if the position is widely supported, it will help to force the authorities to address the concerns.

"If there are certain things that are not up to standard, then that's the thing we have to do because if we don't run, they will start to do things," said Fraser-Pryce. "If it comes down to actually not competing to make sure that things are up to scratch when it comes to facilities and different things in Jamaica, then I would (not run).

"It depends on what it is that we are standing for. If it's a case where we are seeking support for athletes, in terms of accessing information or medical support, then to get the attention, I would," Fraser-Pryce noted.
Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2013 12:55:10 PM

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'They can't suspend anybody' - IAAF boss Diack lashes WADA over Jamaica's drug-testing issue

Published: Sunday | November 17, 2013 4 Comments

André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter


The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) aren't quite seeing eye to eye these days.

President of the IAAF, Lamine Diack, has added his voice to what has been described as a ridiculous campaign against Jamaica and Kenya.

Diack, speaking to journalists ahead of last night's IAAF Gala and Awards ceremony at the Salle des Etoiles here, insisted that the heavy-handed approach and focus by WADA on Jamaica was unwarranted and believes it to be part of a larger attack on the sport of track and field.

"Stop all this nonsense!" said Diack. "Everyone knows the strength of Jamaica in the sprinting, especially, it didn't start in Usain (Bolt).

"I read in the newspapers and it was like a campaign against Jamaica and I think it was ridiculous," Diack added. "They are the most tested athletes in the world!"

The IAAF boss also put to bed arguments that countries like Jamaica, who had featured in WADA's crosshairs over doubts in the integrity of its drug-testing machinery, could be barred from competing at the Olympics in the absence of improvements.

But Diack stressed "I read in the newspapers how WADA are going there and they are going to suspend (Jamaica from the Olympics). "They cannot suspend anybody!"

Diack added: "After Jamaica they (WADA) went to Kenya because some doctor went there and said the Kenyan athletes are not controlled. They are the most controlled ... 650 or so athletes controlled every time in and out of competition."

Local anti-doping efforts highlighted

Jamaica's anti-doping efforts were highlighted particularly after former Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) executive director, Renée Anne Shirley, noted several inadequacies at the five-year-old organisation.

WADA has since publicly criticised the island's drug-testing programme. They recently sent a team to the Caribbean island to look into its anti-doping system and released a statement on November 14 stating compliance. WADA also noted that the Jamaican Government will be implementing certain recommendations.

A few days ago, IAAF deputy general secretary stated that he believes that the anti-doping watchdogs were unfairly targeting Jamaicans and undermining the sport and the IAAF's own anti-doping efforts.
Posted: Saturday, November 23, 2013 11:59:23 AM

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JADCO board resigns

Published: Saturday | November 23, 2013 0 Comments

Minister with responsibility for sport, Natalie Neita-Headley, yesterday reported that the entire board of commissioners of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) resigned, as the Government moves to restructure the organisation.

In a statement, Neita-Headley said the resignation of the commissioners was necessary because of public perception of the existence of conflicts of interests.

The commissioners are Chairman Dr Herb Elliot, Dr Winston Davidson, Molly Rhone, Professor Rainford Wilks, Cathy Rattray Samuel, Senator Sophia Fraser-Binns, Merlene Lawrence Wright, Joan Brown, Bishop Peter Morgan, Mike Fennel, and Dr Marion Bullock-Ducasse.
Posted: Sunday, December 1, 2013 12:08:06 PM

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Understanding what will make Jamaica WADA compliant


Sunday, December 01, 2013

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AS I sat through the various sessions of the 4th World Anti-doping Conference in South Africa and listened to various presentations and interventions from developed and developing countries, there emerged a clear picture of the requirements needed to remain consistently compliant with the WADA code.

Jamaica Anti-Doping Agency, JAAA, our athletes and coaches have to carefully tread the hazardous course of anti-doping science and law in this new era of smart testing. The sprinting capital of the world needs resources to effectively fund its national anti-doping programme.

[Hide Description] Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Usain Bolt pose with their IAAF Athletes of the Year trophies in Monaco recently, both representing with distinction the best of Jamaica’s track and field.
[Restore Description]

Some who do not quite understand what is required will say Jamaica should have joined the Caribbean Regional Anti-doping Organisation (RADO) because funds are pooled by 15 countries, including Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, to run a combined anti-doping programme.

If Jamaica was a part of RADO based on the new proposed Test Distribution Plan (TDP), most of the combined resources would have to be focused on Jamaica because Jamaicans are the dominant sprinters in the Americas. Can you imagine how our Caribbean neighbours would be feeling if most of RADO's resources were spent on Jamaican sprinters? Just as angry as Jamaicans are about the imbalance in trade between Jamaica and Trinidad. Jamaica is undoubtedly extraordinary with talent as epitomised by Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce copping the IAAF Male and Female Athletes of the Year (2012).

The price of success is enormous. Other countries will not fund us to outclass them, so collectively Jamaica will have to find a way to sustain a consistent anti-doping programme.

Some Africans made a suggestion on how Jamaica's anti-doping programme can be sustained. Usain Bolt's picture, they said, was in front of the British parliament during the London Olympics. They suggested that when our athlete's picture is used nationally like that a fee should be levered by our government for usage.

This money can be used to help fund JADCO. The JAAA must also help JADCO to protect itself. The JAAA will have to be vigilant in checking the credibility of coaches. Coaches with a questionable character should not hang around national teams.

Jamaica has this questionable entourage mentality that must be cauterised. There will be a mandatory investigation of coaches from a team if more than one athlete from that team is involved in a doping offence. If a coach supervises a minor who is involved in a doping offence there will be an automatic investigation and the investigation might not be local.

Athletes must play a greater role in their own protection. You, the athletes have worked too hard to allow your dream to go up in a cloud for inadvertent use of contaminated supplements. Athletes have no excuse not to get themselves familiar with the revamped code. There is a short overview for athletes on the run and for those who want to understand more there is a hyperlink that outlines the athlete's right and responsibilities under the revamped code. The universities must step up and not just get involved in basic educational programmes but should provide JADCO with some of the statistical tools the agency needs to guide a smart testing plan. The three Ms — misstep, misunderstanding, misinformation are behind us. Let us look forward to Rio, 2016.

Editor's note: Dr Rachel Irving is the Senior Research Fellow in the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of the West Indies, Mona.

Read more: jamaicaobserver.com/sport/Understanding-what-will-make-Jamaica-WADA-compliant_15540512
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