World Anti-Doping Agency Wants Jamaican Government To Address Shirley Issues

News Americas, LONDON, England, Fri. Aug. 24, 2013: The director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency, (WADA), David Howman, is warning the Jamaican government to urgently address the issues raised made by a former Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission, (JADCO) executive.

The WADA comment comes on the heels of a Sports Illustrated article written by Renee Anne Shirley, the former executive director of JADCO, which said the body did not have the staff to carry out rigorous anti-doping programmes during her tenure.

She also stated that only one out-of-competition test was done between February 2012 and the start of the London Olympics five months later. Shirley also revealed in the article that when she raised those and other concerns, no JADCO or cabinet official took them seriously and she left the agency in February, frustrated.

The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) was formally established with the passage of the Anti-Doping in Sport Act, 2008 as the national anti-doping organization. WADA was involved in helping establish JADCO in 2008.

JADCO’s mandate is to foster a doping-free environment in Jamaica that promotes the ethics and spirit of sport and deters the use of banned doping practices in sport through education, testing, advocacy and programme coordination while it’s primary role is to regularly test national athletes to ensure compliance, according to its website.

Howman said the agency was aware that there had been scarce pre-London Games testing done but said Jamaica needed to respond to Shirley’s statements, which include the revelation that Jamaica had no officer keeping track of athletes so that they could be tested out of competition.

“I would expect that they would do that both transparently and publicly pretty quickly,” Howman said.

The Shirley article and Howman’s comments come two months after I former 100-m world record holder, Asafa Powell, tested positive for the banned stimulant oxilofrine at the Jamaican Championships.

Sherone Simpson, a 4x100m relay silver medalist at last year’s Olympics, also failed a drug test at the same event as Powell while in May the Jamaican world 200-m champion, Veronica Campbell-Brown, tested positive for a banned diuretic.

Meanwhile, a discus thrower, Allison Randall, confirmed she had returned a positive test at the trials.

Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Portia Simpson Miller, is now on an official visit to China and extended her congratulations to the country’s athletes who won big at the 14th IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia.

Pointing also to what she called “the unfortunate and regrettable developments involving some of our senior athletes” the Prime Minister added this week that “despite such developments the Jamaican team was once again able to stamp its authority as the sprint capital of the world at the World Championships, indicating the fierce determination, competitive spirit and never say die attitude of our people.”

JADCO for its part says it continues to conduct comprehensive testing activities, in accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code and International Standards and began testing in 2009. So far, according to a JIS statement Thursday, the body has conducted eight hundred and sixty (860) tests during the period May 2009- June 2013. Five hundred and four (504) In-Competition tests and three hundred and fifty six (356) Out-of-Competition tests have been conducted.

In 2012, JADCO said it conducted one hundred and seventy nine (179) tests, of which one hundred and eight (108) were In-Competition and seventy one (71) Out-of-Competition. Of these one hundred and seventy nine (179) tests, forty (40) were conducted on behalf of other Associations and Federations.

From January -June 2013, JADCO said it has conducted two hundred and forty six (246) tests of which one hundred and sixty four (164) were In-Competition and eighty two (82) were Out-of-Competition.