Jamaican PM vows to ‘ramp up’ doping prevention efforts


Thu, Jul 18, 2013 - Page 20

The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) is to step up its education and testing programs following five athletes, including Olympic medalists Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson, testing positive for banned substances, the country’s prime minister said.

Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller, who is also the country’s minister for sports, added the country’s anti-doping body had uncovered 15 positive tests from 860 samples in the past four years.

Powell and Simpson said on Sunday they had tested positive for the stimulant Oxilofrine (methylsynephrine) at the Jamaican national championships last month.

Discus thrower Allison Randall said on Monday she had also tested positive at the championships.

All have denied knowingly taking banned substances.

“We [JADCO] intend to ramp up the public education program in the high schools and commence the sensitization programs at the primary-school level,” Simpson-Miller said in Jamaica’s parliament on Tuesday.

“We need to initiate a system for high-school level testing for athletes involved in training and competition in sport, in accordance with appropriate approvals from the Ministry of Education, ISSA [Inter-secondary School Sports Association], and the parents and guardians of these youngsters,” she said

Simpson-Miller said JADCO had notified the five athletes of their positive tests in writing last week.

One, a junior athlete, is yet to confirm the notification of the doping violation.

She said all five atheletes had until tomorrow to indicate whether they want their “B” samples tested, though one had already said they would like the second sample analyzed.

Powell and Simpson’s agent Paul Doyle confirmed earlier this week that his two clients would ask for their “B” samples to be tested.

The commission could also ask for the “B” sample to be analyzed, Simpson-Miller added.