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AP NewsBreak: World doping agency to probe Jamaica

October 14, 2013 • National News


FILE – In this Feb. 5, 2010 file photo, a laboratory technician prepares samples of urine for doping tests during a media open day, at the King’s College London Drug Control Centre, London. The world’s anti-doping authority is launching an “extraordinary” audit of Jamaica’s drug-testing agency following allegations that its policing of the island’s sprinting superstars all but collapsed in the months before they dazzled at the London Games, The Associated Press has learned. (AP Photo/Sang Tan, File)

A year after Usain Bolt made history at the London Olympics and declared himself “a living legend,” a bombshell dropped largely unnoticed in The Gleaner, the Caribbean’s oldest newspaper: A former director of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission alleged the island didn’t drug-test its athletes for entire months before they dazzled at the Summer Games.

Statistics compiled by former JADCO Executive Director Renee Anne Shirley indicated a near-complete breakdown in the agency’s out-of-competition testing from January 2012 to the July opening of the Olympics.

In an interview with The Associated Press, JADCO chairman Herbert Elliott dismissed Shirley’s figures as lies and described her as “a bit demented” and “a Judas.”

But the World Anti-Doping Agency confirmed to AP that there was, as Shirley asserted, “a significant gap of no testing” by JADCO as athletes trained for London — and that it would launch an “extraordinary” audit of the Jamaican agency.

What’s more, International Olympic Committee medical chiefs, WADA and Britain’s anti-doping agency, which also worked on London’s massive drug-testing program, told the AP that they were kept in the dark about Jamaican testing lapses that Shirley exposed in her August letter to The Gleaner.

“There was a period of … maybe five to six months during the beginning part of 2012 where there was no effective operation,” WADA Director General David Howman said in an interview. “No testing. There might have been one or two, but there was no testing. So we were worried about it, obviously.”

Jamaican stars didn’t go completely untested before London. Track and field’s governing body, the IAAF, says it extensively tested elite Jamaicans, including Bolt more than 12 times last year. History’s fastest human has never failed a drug test.

Jamaica won eight of 12 individual sprint medals in London. Bolt became the first man to win both the 100 and 200 meters at consecutive games and anchored Login to read more

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