Sat, Aug 24, 2013 - Page 18 News List

Jamaica hits back at allegations of lax anti-doping controls

Reuters, MIAMI

The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) has hit back at allegations of poor administration and a lack of controls by a former official, insisting the authority’s practices meet global standards.

Renee Anne Shirley, a former senior adviser to Jamaica’s sports minister who was charged with coordinating the nation’s Anti-Doping in Sport Program, wrote of “troubling” facts about JADCO’s work in a critical article in Sports Illustrated this week.

Shirley said that between February last year and the start of the London Olympics in July, JADCO carried out just one out-of-competition test.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) issued a statement on Thursday urging JADCO to respond “urgently and appropriately” to Shirley’s comments, which have followed a string of positive doping tests returned by Jamaican athletes in recent months.

JADCO said its procedures and processes were “in keeping with international standards” in a statement issued on Thursday.

They had been reviewed by “quasi-judicial bodies, like the Jamaica Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel and Jamaica Anti-Doping Appeals Tribunal, and judicial body outside of Jamaica, the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which as recently as this year found them beyond reproof,” JADCO said.

The authority said it had been working closely with WADA, who had visited in July last year and “expressed satisfaction with the development of JADCO” and its new commissioners.

“JADCO will continue to collaborate with WADA to improve its systems, and is assured that Jamaican athletes face no threat of being barred from participation in the next Olympic Games or other international events,” the statement added.

The rash of positive doping tests threw a cloud over the country’s preparations for the World Championships earlier this month in Moscow.

Former 100m world-record holder Asafa Powell and Olympic relay silver medalist Sherone Simpson tested positive for the stimulant oxilofrine at June’s national championships and were left out of the Jamaica team.

World 200m champion Veronica Campbell-Brown also missed out as she was provisionally suspended after failing a test for a banned diuretic in May.

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