Jamaica Has Never Carried Out A Blood Test, Claims ex-JADCO Chief

The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission has never conducted a blood test, according to Renee Anne Shirley, the former head of JADCO. She also remarked the anti-doping body is so short-staffed that it risks botching the prosecution of country’s sport drug cheats.

The claims of JADCO’s executive director from July 2012 until February this year have already sparked an outcry and the World Anti-Doping Agency has initiated an investigation into the anti-doping program of Jamaica. This was after Shirley claimed that the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission carried out just one out-of-competition drug test in the five months leading up to the London 2012 Olympics. She also claimed that blood-testing kits that were delivered during her tenure at the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission have never been used.

Renee Anne Shirley remarked that athletes of the country were subjected only to urine tests by JADCO despite the fact that blood testing is the only way for detecting the presence of human growth hormone (HGH). Her comments have infuriated many who have accused her of tarnishing the international reputation of Jamaica with her accusations made public.

Shirley said we have a number of doping positives which are going to need to be managed because JADCO has to manage the results process and put the cases together to go to the hearings. She added her concern is that the staff is not in place to do this job and nobody is addressing this issue and this process must be managed and cases have to be put together with witness statements. The ex-JADCO head said we can’t afford for people in Jamaica to get off on a technicality because there was some breach in the processing of the paperwork. She went on to add that the Asafa Powell situation is also compounded by the criminal investigation that was going on in Italy and the details of the case are going to have to come forward and it’s going to have to be rigorously handled. She added JADCO on the legal side is going to have to present a case – what was found, all the details – and it needs to stand scrutiny in the eyes of the world because everybody’s going to be watching.

In response to Shirley’s serious allegations, WADA said it will visit the island country in January for carrying out an “extraordinary” audit of the activities of JADCO. Herb Elliot, the JADCO chairman, doubted the authenticity and accuracy of her claims and described Shirley as “demented” and “a Judas”.

In the last few months, Jamaican athletes have come under close scrutiny and many have been suspended for using banned substances. Last month, Jamaican international footballer Jermaine Hue was banned for nine months after he tested positive for a steroid while star track and field athletes Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson tested positive for stimulants. Three-time Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown was among six track and field athletes who failed anti-doping tests. Olympic taekwondo player Kenneth Edwards became the eighth Jamaican athlete a few days back to test positive this year when he failed a drug test for a banned diuretic.

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