Athletics chief defends Jamaican athletes

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Friday November 29, 2013, CMC – President of the Jamaica Administrative Athletics Association (JAAA), Dr Warren Blake, has robustly defended Jamaican athletes following threats by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

WADA claims that not enough was being done by the island’s track and field officials to deal with drug use in the sport.

“Our athletes are the most tested in the world, as prior to the London Olympic Games, some 125 drug testing was done on our elite athletes by the IAAF,” said Dr.Blake while delivering his presidential report at the JAAA’s annual general meeting in Kingston on Tuesday.

“ … while WADA was not doing enough, the IAAF was extensively testing our athletes and our athletes are tested more than any other athletes in the world”.

Dr.Blake’s defence is similar to that mounted by Lamine Diack, president of the sport’s world governing body – the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) .

Diack had noted the high number of drug testing done on the nation’s athletes in the face of criticisms by WADA.

“When you look at the performances of our athletes since this extensive drug testing by the IAAF it is the best medal haul we have had in major competition in our history.”said Dr.Blake.

WADA’s criticisms were sparked by a report published by former Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) executive director, Renee Anne Shirley, claiming discrepancies in the island’s out-of-competition testing of its athletes.

Several Jamaican high-profile athletes, including Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson, had returned adverse analytical findings. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)