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Jamaica's Bolt at London Games (Nick J Webb/Flickr)

Jamaican Team Faces Drug Probe

Alleged lack of testing before 2012 Olympics

Outside Online News

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The World Anti-Doping Agency is launching a substantial audit of Jamaica’s drug testing agency following reports that Jamaica’s testing all but disappeared before the 2012 Olympics. The Associated Press reports that WADA’s probe indicates a serious breakdown of the Jamaican agency’s testing from January 2012 until the July games.

“There was a period of — and forgive me if I don’t have the number of months right — but 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, according to the Huffington Post. “No testing. There might have been one or two, but there was no testing. So we were worried about it, obviously.”

The former executive director of Jamaica’s Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO), Renee Anne Shirley, initially raised the allegations in the Caribbean’s oldest newspaper. Current JADCO chairman addressed Shirley’s claims: “Ms. Shirley has done this country and herself a great deal of harm by saying things that are not totally in keeping with the truth.”

However, Jamaicans did not enter the Olympic games entirely untested. The IAAF, track and field’s governing body, says they tested Jamaican athletes regularly and Bolt was tested more than 12 times last year. Usain Bolt has never failed a drug test.

WADA plans to send a team to Jamaica to further investigate the alleged testing breakdown at the end of this year or in early 2014.

At the London games, Jamaica won 8 of 12 individual sprint medals, and Usain Bolt became the first man to win both the 100- and 200-meter races at consecutive games.

From Outside Magazine, April/May 2021
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Lead Photo: Nick J Webb/Flickr

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