Powell doping case needs to speed up

Sir Craig Reedie, the new president of World Anti-Doping Association, has urged the Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission for a speedy resolution in the case of Asafa Powell, the former 100 meters world-record holder.

In June last year, Powell tested positive for the banned substance Oxilofrine at the Jamaican national trials but it is not expected to face a disciplinary hearing before this month. Sherone Simpson, a three-time Olympic medalist and a member of Powell’s training group, also tested positive for the same drug.

Powell, the Jamaican sprinter who specializes in the 100 meters, held the 100 m world record between June 2005 and May 2008, with times of 9.77 and 9.74 seconds respectively. The 30-year-old Powell insisted he had done nothing wrong and remarked he had never knowingly or willfully taken any supplements or substances that break any rules. He added the positive doping test has left him completely devastated and he is reeling from this genuinely surprising result. Powell also remarked his fault is not cheating but instead not being more vigilant and said he wanted to reiterate that in his entire career as an athlete he had never sought to enhance his performance with any substance, and said it is not a part of who he is or what he believes in.

Reedie remarked Jamaica has taken too long for dealing with the Asafa Powell doping case. Reedie, who is also an International Olympic Committee Vice-President, took over as WADA President on January 1, 2014 and said there are a few cases ongoing in Jamaica, one of them a very high-profile one, and one of the issues is that it is taking too long to come to a conclusion. Reedie added he has been under a cloud and if he has broken the rules then sport wants the case finalized, if he hasn’t then he wants the cloud lifted.

A few weeks back, Reedie met new JADCO chief executive Carey Brown in Montreal and said he believes Jamaica is improving its testing regime after disclosures that only one out-of-competition test was conducted in the six months leading up to the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The WADA President added the World Anti-Doping Agency has been asked to go to Jamaica and help them with their structure and the sports minister has announced extra money for testing so one hopes they have got the message. He went on to add that the island country relied heavily in the past on the International Association of Athletics Federations, especially for out-of-competition tests. Sir Craig Reedie also believes that the clouds of suspicion should not be directed at current 100m world record-holder Usain Bolt or any Jamaican sprinter just because others have tested positive.

The WADA chief added people have to understand that Jamaica is not a test-free zone but they probably have relied too often on the IAAF’s (International Athletics Federation) efforts and added he knows from the IAAF figures that he [Bolt] has been tested very regularly throughout 2013 and before. Reedie also said all of the top Jamaican athletes have been tested regularly by the international federation.

In 2013, high jumper Demar Robinson, discus throwers Allison Randall and Traves Smikle were under investigation for failed tests but none of them have received a disciplinary hearing or the final verdict.

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