Jamaica defends anti-doping programme
The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) has rejected claims by Dick Pound, former chief of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), suggesting that the country's athletes are not being properly tested for drugs.
JADCO has strongly defended Jamaica's anti-doping programme after Pound said on an international television station that Jamaican athletes belonged to a group that was difficult to test.
The international spotlight has fallen directly on Jamaican athletes after they dominated the sprint events at the London Olympics.
"There is no way that anyone could dare talk about JADCO being a third world organisation versus a first world organisation," declared Professor Winston Davidson, vice-chairman JADCO.
"As far as I am concerned we adhere to the same international standards and are as good or even better than those who call themselves first world."
Usain Bolt stormed to victory in both the 100 and 200 metres, with Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce snatching gold in the women's 100 as the Caribbean island consolidated its domination
Pound, now a member of the International Olympic Committee, said Jamaican athletes should now expect more visits by drug testers.
However, Davidson has insisted that nothing is wrong with JADCO's anti-doping programme.
"...and as such everything must be done that's transparent and that can stand any kind of scrutiny or any rigor from any quarter at home and abroad."
Jamaica won a clean sweep in the men's 200 with Yohan Blake and Warren Weir winning silver and bronze behind Bolt.
"No, they are one of the groups that are hard to test, it is (hard) to get in and find them and so forth," Pound told Reuters Television when asked whether he was happy with the way Jamaica tested its athletes.
"I think they can expect, with the extraordinary results that they have had, that they will be on everybody's radar."
More than 100 athletes were caught using banned substances in the months leading up to the Games following increased testing by national and international anti-doping agencies
Meantime, WADA has indicated it has no concerns about the operations of Jamaica's anti-doping authorities.
WADA said the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission was deemed compliant in the compliance report passed by WADA's foundation board last November.
"In order to achieve compliance, an anti-doping organisation needs to satisfy a number of criteria with regard to its anti-doping programme, including having an element of out-of-competition testing," WADA said in a statement sent to the RJR Communications Group.
"It must also have in place anti-doping regulations that allow the programme to function effectively."
WADA said many Jamaican track-and-field athletes are part of the IAAF's registered testing pool and are, therefore, also tested independently of their national anti-doping programme.
"WADA has visited Jamaica several times in the last couple of years to provide guidance and advice to JADCO," the international agency said. "We expect an invitation to return again this year as a result of the appointment of a new CEO at JADCO."
WADA also noted that JADCO is mandated to deliver a report every year to its stakeholders which identifies any anti-doping rules violations and that WADA had received the report.
"As with all signatories, WADA will continue to monitor and offer assistance where needed to make anti-doping efforts as robust as possible," the agency said. —CMC