KINGSTON, Jamaica, Friday August 17, 2012 – The claim by International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Dick Pound that it is difficult to test Jamaican athletes because they are “hard to find” has been dismissed by the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCo).
JADCo chairman Winston Davidson described Pound’s claims as “a vicious attack on a small country” following a marathon meeting of JADCo’s board on Monday.
“What Pound said was blatantly false. We knew it was spurious, but we spent the whole day trying to find evidence of it. We don’t think they would do this to America and other bigger countries. It is a vicious attack on a small country,” Davidson said.
Pound, a former chief of the World Anti-Doping Agency, told Reuters Television last weekend that Jamaican athletes belong to “one of the groups that are hard to test”.
When asked if he was satisfied with the way Jamaica tested its athletes, Pound responded: “No, they are one of the groups that are hard to test, it is (hard) to get in and find them and so forth.”
“I think they can expect, with the extraordinary results that they have had, that they will be on everybody’s radar,” he added.
JADCo stated in a release that it has never received any complaints regarding the athletes not being found for testing.
“This is confirmed by the fact that the WADA database (Anti-Doping Administration and Management System – ADAMS), holding such information of all tests and missed tests, does not confirm his allegation,” the commission said.
“In addition, JADCo has never received any complaints regarding the athletes not being found for testing.”
JADCo was also concerned that former United States sprinter Carl Lewis had questioned Jamaica’s testing system, following Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce’s successful defence of their 100 metres titles.
JADCo went on to say that it was acutely aware that the Jamaican athletes, by their high level of performance, would attract the attention of the world.
“Therefore, every track and field athlete representing Jamaica at the recent Olympics was tested in-competition in June 2012. In conjunction with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), elite athletes were tested more than once. All results were negative,” JADCo said.
Prior to the start of the London Olympics, word out of the Jamaican camp was that the island’s athletes were being subjected to extraordinarily frequent testing. Sprinter Asafa Powell was said to have been tested thee times in a single week.
Pound, whose remarks initiated the controversy last Saturday, is a Canadian attorney who specialises in tax law.
He was one of the prime candidates to succeed Juan Antonio Samaranch as IOC president in 2001, but lost to Jacques Rogge. After that election, he resigned as chairman of the IOC Finance Commission.
He was also the chairman of the IOC commission that oversaw the Olympic Bribery Scandal in 1999, and was the first chairman of WADA, a post to which he was re-elected in 2004, serving through 2007.
He is regarded as the most influential IOC member who has never succeeded to the IOC presidency.